Sept. 1, 2020
Greetings everyone –
As we enter into the 2020-2021 school year, we will be serving nearly 6700 young people who require early intervention and special education services. This is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Our special educators, related service providers, support teachers, and paraeducators have received ongoing professional learning to prepare for the months ahead. Students’ general education teachers have also received training and essential information.
As mentioned in my previous note, I am writing to share information about how you can expect to participate in upcoming discussions about services for your child during the current school closure. The IEP Service Determination: Timeline for Parents shares information about expectations for Department of Special Education staff as well as things parents can focus on within the next few weeks. We will also be issuing a document that includes frequently asked questions in the days ahead.
Keep in mind, your child’s IEP services are to be provided on the first day of school (9/8/2020) like the beginning of any school year. Special education staff (i.e., special educators, related service providers, support teachers and paraeducators) will be joining general education classroom sessions along with your child during this transition from summer into the new year. The purpose of scheduling themselves to be present in classrooms is to ensure students receiving services have the same opportunity to be part of the classroom community building activities. Additionally, staff will be able to note critical information that will be important to share with you during discussions about service delivery in the virtual environment. Remember that your child’s current IEP remains in effect. If amendments are necessary, they are considered temporary changes to support the implementation of your child’s services in a virtual environment. Your child’s case manager will be reaching out to you as soon as possible. You will let them know which option you choose for participating in discussions about your child’s IEP.
If your child has an IFSP or is receiving services through the Infants and Toddlers Program, you will work with your service coordinator to make the necessary updates.Please reach out to us if you have any questions or need support. Your school team can provide assistance along with others listed at the bottom of the attached document. Take care and be safe.
Terri Savage, Ed.D.
Department of Special Education
10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042
(410) 313-6659 office