A Letter from the Special Education Department Regarding Remote Learning – 04/03/2020
We hope this letter finds you all well. To facilitate our commitment to learning, Haverhill Public Schools will move to a “remote learning” model beginning on Monday, April 6, 2020. The Haverhill Special Education Department is excited to get back to school even if it is only remotely! We are thrilled to get back to teaching and learning and serving our students. We have been working hard to plan this week and are prepared to do our best to meet all of our students’ needs. Services will be rolled out over the coming days and weeks as we increase our capacity, knowledge base and proficiency with technology. We thank you for your patience and willingness to work together as we take on this new challenge.
In order to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of all students and staff during this global pandemic and period of extended school closure, Haverhill Public Schools is proposing alternative remote learning for our students in a good faith effort to provide your child with a free and appropriate public education during school closure. Governor Baker’s order prevents in-person instruction in order to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, and therefore how the district provides special education to your child will look different during this unprecedented period of national and state public health emergency. The district will be making every effort to use creative strategies to provide special education instruction and services to the extent feasible.
This alternative remote learning plan is to provide interim services that allow for review and reinforcement of already learned skills and does not amend your Student’s IEP in any way. As the District rolls out remote learning, these supports and services may change as we build on current capacity. Please note, however, that these support and service may be subject to change with little or no notice due to circumstances beyond the District’s control.
As feasible, special education and related services will be provided remotely through the following alternative methods:
- Supports and Resources and
- Instruction and Services.
The Support and Resources model includes providing strategies and resources to families to keep students engaged in learning and movement as well as regular ongoing checks-ins with families. The Instruction and Service model provides interim services that allow for review and reinforcement of already learned skills and delivers services remotely. Again, it is temporary for the period of school closure and does not alter or amend your student’s current IEP. As the District rolls out remote learning, these supports and services may change as the situation around us evolves, we will keep you posted of any changes that impact your individual child or the district as a whole.
By now, you have heard from many of your child’s teachers and special education service providers. They will continue to be in touch to work with you to develop plans to meet the individual needs of your child and your family during the unprecedented school closures. For our remote learning plan, we anticipate instruction and services to be delivered in the following ways.
- Services on the A grid are consultation services. If your child has A grid services on his/her IEP, consultation will be provided to you and/or your child (if your child is 14 or older) in the form of emails, calls and check-ins with teachers and related service providers; as well as continued consultation with your child’s general education teacher where applicable.
- Services on the B grid are services within the general education classroom. If your child has B grid services, services will be delivered through alternative methods including a combination of the special education teacher working with the general education teacher as well as providing accommodations and modifications to lessons, virtual classes and assignments as appropriate. Services may take the form of emails, calls and check-ins with teachers and related service providers; and special education teachers may also attend some of the virtual classes/ meetings held by the general education teacher. Your child’s IEP will be a guiding document for the Remote Learning Plan, however, these services will not be equivalent to the duration and frequency of services provided during a typical school day.
- Services on the C grid are services that take place outside the general education classroom and are direct services to your child. If your child has C grid services, your child will be provided services and lessons aligned to their IEP through alternative methods. This may take the form of instruction via telephone calls, lessons and activities sent to the family, recorded lessons, lessons through google meets and online learning curriculum such as Lexia, which is a reading program and TeachTown Basics, which is an online curriculum based on ABA principles. Again, your child’s IEP will be a guiding document for the Remote Learning Plan, however, these services will not be equivalent to the duration and frequency of services provided during a typical school day.
We are requesting that parents and guardians, do the following:
- Communicate with your children’s teachers and administrators if your children do not have access or the necessary remote learning resources to complete the work assigned by their teachers.
- Communicate promptly with your child’s teachers and administrators if your children are having difficulty completing the assigned work.
- Provide your children with support at home so that they can complete their assignments in a timely manner. Support includes providing time and space for your children to do their assignments and helping your children to plan or schedule the necessary time to do their work.
- Monitor your child’s use of remote learning technologies and make sure they are being safe, protecting their and your privacy, and behaving respectfully while online.
While Haverhill Public Schools remain obligated to protect students’ confidentiality and privacy, please be advised that online virtual lessons may be viewed by individuals in our students’ households, and therefore, the district cannot ensure your student’s privacy. By allowing your child’s participation, you are acknowledging the privacy limitations. If you do not want your child to participate in video conferencing you can opt out by signing and returning the form to your principal.
Please note lessons may not be recorded, copied, disseminated or distributed to any person and/or entity. Lessons may not be lawfully recorded without the consent of all participants. Additionally, please be reminded that the district’s Acceptable Use Policy, Bullying Prevention Policy (including the prohibiting against cyberbullying) remains in effect, as well as student code of conduct and disciplinary rules.
We encourage all of our students to work through these materials throughout the week, and we will provide you with feedback on your child’s work and contributions. Should you have questions on accessing the materials or completing the work, please reach out to your child’s teacher, service provider or educational team facilitator.