PSB Special Education During COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions for Special Education during COVID-19 School Closure (Revised 5/19/20)

The Special Education Department is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for students and continues to closely monitor COVID-19 and its impact on student learning and social-emotional needs. We acknowledge that this situation is difficult and appreciate your commitment to the health of your family. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

IEP Meetings/Evaluations in Process 

IEP meetings will be rescheduled. At some point in the future, we may resume by holding remote IEP meetings. You will be notified by your student’s Educational Team Facilitator (ETF) or Special Education Director about scheduling options. We will pause evaluation, referral, annual review, and plan distribution timelines for all students on IEPs and 504s. This means that as soon as schools reopen, the timelines will commence, as required by state and federal regulations. Additionally, at that time we will be working with families to understand the impact of the closure on individual students and will work to schedule/reschedule meetings as needed.

Special Education Referrals/Initial Eligibility

The Public Schools of Brookline (PSB), along with other schools in the Commonwealth, will freeze evaluation, referral, and plan distribution timelines for all students in a referral cycle. This means that as soon as schools reopen, the timelines will commence as required by state and federal regulations.

Special Education Services

During school closures, PSB will follow the Department of Education Guidance issued March 2020. The district encourages students to remain engaged while school is not in session and to that end schools will provide suggestions and resources for enrichment activities. These enrichment opportunities are not considered instruction. Although there is no obligation for students to engage in the enrichment activities, we do encourage participation.

Once school reopens, PSB will resume providing special education and related services to children in accordance with the child’s IEP. If special education services cannot be provided once school reopens, teams will make individual determinations for the requirement of compensatory services.

Home Services

Home services and assessments will not occur during school closures. Additionally, once school reopens, our ability to send staff or contracted service providers into homes is contingent upon staff and student health and wellness in accordance with state and CDC guidelines, protocols to limit activities within the community, or availability of home service providers. If home services cannot be provided once school reopens, teams will make individual determinations for the requirement of compensatory services.

Out-of-District Day and Residential Placements

For students in out-of-district day or residential placements, PSB will follow the attendance recommendations of the individual out-of-district school or facility. If your student’s out-of-district school closes, PSB will not provide interim educational and/or special education services.

Special Education Transportation

The Transportation Office will continue to provide transportation to out-of-district schools that remain open and for students who are able to attend.

Home Hospital Tutoring

Once school resumes, for students who may have medical or health issues and are physically unable to come to school as a result of COVID-19, the district will follow our process with regard to Home and Hospital Tutoring. This applies to students who will miss 14 or more school days as a result of being physically unable to come to school due to a health or medical issue. A physician’s statement is required to initiate this process. If this situation applies to your child, please contact your student’s guidance counselor.


Content retrieved on 7/20/2020 from: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us//site/Default.aspx?PageID=165.