U.S. Department of Education Guidance Addresses IEPs During COVID-19
This week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released guidance, Development of Individualized Education Programs in the Least Restrictive Environment Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as part of its Return to School Roadmap initiative.
The new Q&A focuses on developing and implementing individualized education programs (IEP) as required under IDEA. With the goal of assisting “state and local educational agencies in developing and implementing appropriate programs for students,” OSERS outlines how IEP teams can
- Determine appropriate measurable annual goals
- Make educational placement decisions
- Consider special factors including social, emotional and behavioral needs
- Address students’ school-related health needs, including mask-wearing, during COVID-19
- Consider the need for compensatory services
- Resolve disagreements in the IEP process
The guidance clarifies for states and districts that services and supports provided through a child’s IEP can be paid for with IDEA Part B funds, and by state and district K-12 stimulus dollars.