When working with students through alternative delivery models, the school or district should make a good faith effort within available capabilities to determine how a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) will be provided and should ask the following questions:
- Do your special education students have access to the appropriate resources required to engage in your alternative delivery model, such as cell phones, computers and internet or other acceptable connectivity?
- Will all students in the school or district have equal access to the learning and required materials, which might include technology?
- Can the alternative delivery model effectively support the district’s deployment of FAPE, including the ability to provide differentiated instruction and one-on-one support for students who need it? Regardless of where the learning is happening, supports and services identified within a student’s IEP must be provided to the extent practicable and without putting the health and safety of students or educators at risk as long as the school district is operating. This might consist of phone calls or virtual conferences for direct one-on-one interaction with a student.
- If using a virtual platform, can your district or building provide training to staff, students, parents and guardians enabling them to use the online system and understand the district’s expectations for use of the system? All training can be accomplished virtually.
- If using phone time to connect with students or email, can your district or building communicate and connect with families to discuss a structure and communication routine for working with their student via phone or email?
- Does your district or building have a process in place to track and document communications with parents and services provided pursuant to the IEP?
- Can the district or building work with related services providers to understand to what extent possible any particular service, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language therapy, can be provided in an alternative delivery format?
- How can your instructional aides or assistive technology support services to students during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure?
If after considering the above, the distrcit cannot meet the needs of students with disabilities, the district must determine how copensatory services will be provided after the ordered school-building closure period has ended.