Special education questions for 2020-21

As Garland ISD prepares to reopen and reunite with families on August 10, we understand that one of your concerns is how your child(ren) with disabilities will begin the 2020-2021 school year in these unprecedented times. Whether you choose face-to-face or remote learning, please know that students receiving special education services will continue to have the best possible access to quality instruction and required services.

In addition to providing services outlined in student individualized education programs (IEP), schools and families will partner together to ensure a smooth, safe start of school.

Remote learning frequently asked questions

Can my child still be referred for a special education evaluation? [added 7/22]

Yes. Whether your child attends school via remote learning or on campus, a special education referral may be initiated by scheduling a conference with your child’s teacher, the school counselor, or campus administration.  A Student Support Team meeting can be scheduled. 

Will my child receive a full individual evaluation upon referral if I choose remote learning? [added 7/22]

Appointments will be scheduled with appropriate evaluation personnel within initial or reevaluation timelines for face-to-face evaluations.  District safety, health and hygiene practices will be followed. 

How can I participate in ARD meetings for my child? [added 7/22]

All annual ARDs will be completed by the annual due date and held virtually via Google Meets, Zoom, or a phone conference to comply with social distancing guidelines and in an effort to protect all participants.  As campuses reopen, ARD meetings may continue to be held virtually or by phone to help ensure social distancing.  In person meetings may be scheduled with campus administration, following District social distancing guidelines, and will utilize in-person and virtual participation for required ARD committee members.  Signatures will be obtained via the Frontline Collaboration Portal, and IEP documents will be shared with parents/guardians via a secure parent portal.  Parents will receive an email from Frontline Education with instructions on how to access the parent portal.

What will my child’s IEP look like in remote learning? [added 7/22]

A virtual review ARD may be held before school begins or no later than during the first three weeks of school for all students whose parents request remote learning. The IEP may be reviewed and revised based upon the student’s individual needs in the remote learning environment.

How will students who receive related services (such as, but not limited to: speech therapy, occupational and/or physical therapy) receive these services during remote learning? [added 7/22]

Students enrolled in remote learning can attend their related/support service sessions (speech, OT, PT, etc.) on campus at a time scheduled with the service provider.  Students may also have the option to participate through teletherapy (virtual), when appropriate, and following teletherapy guidelines. 

My child attends the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE/formerly PPCD) program. What will this class look like during remote learning? [added 7/22]

ECSE students will have the opportunity to engage in asynchronous (self-paced) general education or modified/alternative curriculum with accommodations or modifications as needed and stated in the student’s IEP.  In addition, remote instruction via Canvas, other digital tools and/or live virtual communication will be used to deliver individualized student learning services to work on documented IEP goals.  ECSE staff will work with the parent(s) and student to determine accessibility, learning methods, and behavior related issues that may interfere with the remote learning environment success.  If pure online tools do not meet a child's needs, the core teacher(s), support service staff, and/or parent(s) will work together to develop an alternative plan that better meets the student's needs.

How will inclusion services be implemented during remote learning? [added 7/22]

Special education teachers will work collaboratively with general education teachers to provide support per the student’s IEP during remote learning.  Special education teachers will promote student engagement in the virtual classroom, and/or develop virtual activities with the general education teacher. 

What will special education resource classes look like during remote learning with modified or alternate curriculum? [added 7/22]

The schedule for classes will parallel the schedule for students receiving on-campus instruction as much as possible and will be appropriate for the student’s grade/curriculum content.  Direct instruction may be supplemented with activities which can be completed by the student in addition to the synchronous instruction for grades 3-12.  Grades K-2 students will have the opportunity to engage in asynchronous (self-paced) modified/alternative curriculum. Garland ISD staff have been working with the different learning programs to determine effective implementation during remote learning.  Many of the programs/resources used in modified/alternate curriculum have a remote learning component. Teachers will be trained in using the programs to conduct remote learning lessons in August. Accommodations and/or modifications will be provided as stated in the student’s IEP.

My child participates in the Applied Learning Environment (ALE) class. What will this class look like during remote learning? [added 7/22]

Students participating in the ALE program will access asynchronous or synchronous instruction and connect with their ALE teacher via the district learning management system.  ALE teachers will utilize the district’s alternate curriculum. Many of the programs/resources used in alternate curriculum have a remote learning component. Teachers will be trained in using the programs to conduct remote learning lessons in August.  Additional resources will be used to develop and reinforce student learning. Some students accessing an alternate curriculum will need the support of a parent/caregiver to participate in online instructional activities. 

My child is in the Adaptive Behavior and Communication (ABC) class. What will these services look like? [added 7/22]

Students in the ABC program will receive online social skills instruction in addition to their academic course work.  Online group lessons will be held to encourage appropriate communication and interaction with others. Students will also receive direct instruction specific to the behaviors identified in the student’s behavioral intervention plan (BIP).  

How will my child be supported in the BA/BASE program during remote learning? [added 7/22]

Students in the Behavior Adjustment (BA) and Behavior Academic Support Environment (BASE) programs will receive online social skills instruction in addition to  their academic course work. Remote group lessons will be conducted to address identified behaviors on the behavioral intervention plan (BIP) and teach appropriate alternative behaviors. Individual student meetings with the student’s case manager will be held remotely to review behavior goals, problem solve, and discuss ways to use the skills they have learned at home and in the community.

How will vision and hearing services be implemented during remote learning? [added 7/22]

Hearing and vision teachers will support access to communication and participation in remote learning for students with hearing and visual impairments. Services will range from collaboration and consultation with teachers to real-time, multimedia interaction with families and students. Additionally, hearing and vision teachers will work with classroom teachers and case managers regarding the expectations for presentation of instructional materials. They will also assist families to understand how to implement appropriate accommodations such as closed captioning, educational interpreting services, and auditory and visual supports in the online environment.

Can my child receive homebound services? [added 7/22]

Homebound services are determined by the ARD committee.  All homebound services will be provided through synchronous remote instruction with a homebound teacher.

Can I access behavior support for my child at home during the remote learning option? [added 7/22]

Behavior support coaches are available to provide behavioral intervention support as needed during remote learning. This includes assisting teachers with incorporating behavioral best practices in the remote learning environment, consulting and collaborating with parents/guardians as needed on behavioral strategies to support remote learning in the home environment, and providing district training and resources for supporting the learning environment by incorporating behavioral best practices.