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Student Instructional Support Services » Reopening Information

Reopening Information

Student Instructional Support Services

Back-to-School Guidance

 

PLEASE NOTE: The details in this document are subject to change as directives are provided by governing authorities and/or health officials or as environmental conditions change.

  • Legal Requirement
    • Poth ISD will ensure that students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The district will ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student's individualized education program (IEP).

 

  • General Guidance
    • Students with disabilities will follow the Poth ISD Health and Safety Back-to-School Guidance as general education students with special consideration given to meet their individual needs based on the students IEP or §504 Plan.

 

    • Parents/Guardians of students who are entitled to instructional and related services through an Admission, Review and Dismissal(ARD)/Individualized Education Plan (IEP), §504 Plan, etc. and who choose to participate in PISD@Home will be required to attend an appropriate meeting to revise their supports and services to ensure the District meets their individual needs.

 

    • In an effort to minimize potential exposure to our students, Poth ISD will:
      • Focus on social distancing and hand hygiene routinely as well as wearing face coverings/masks as appropriate.
      • Post visual supports throughout building to remind and support understanding of expectations.
      • Minimize sharing of high-touch materials (e.g., assign each student their own device/materials for the day when possible).
      • Sanitize all used materials daily.

 

  • Meeting Service Plan Recommendations (IEP and §504 Plan)
    • Poth ISD will review all health plans, IEPs, and §504 Plans prior to reentry into Face-to-Face settings and revise as needed.

 

    • Poth ISD is committed to meeting the unique needs of students with disabilities by ensuring that ARD/IEP or §504 Committees convene as needed to discuss needs, review progress, and make individualized recommendations for our students.

 

  • Provision of Services: Face-to-Face Instruction Option

 

    • Special Education and Section 504 Services:

 

      • Group sizes will comply with the students’ IEP or §504 Plan as well as state and local regulations as appropriate.
      • Speech-language pathologists, Occupational therapists, and other related service providers will wear clear face masks/shields as appropriate.
      • When feasible and appropriate, it is preferable for students to receive instruction outside rather than inside to reduce potential spread of contagions.
      • As appropriate, students should engage in supervised hand hygiene when entering/leaving the class, before/after meals, before/after toileting, and other times during the day.
      • Staff will use verbal reminders and visual supports with students to maintain recommended safety and hygiene measures.
      • Students for whom it is developmentally appropriate should wear face coverings over the nose and mouth as explained in the Poth ISD Health and Safety Back-to-School Guidance, except while engaging in an activity where the mask cannot be worn (e.g., eating). Students’ individual needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
      • Floor tape or dividers will be used to separate large areas into smaller spaces.

 

  • Provision of Services: PISD@Home Instruction Option

 

    • Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Section 504 Plans:For students with disabilities wishing to participate in PISD@Home Instruction that have existing and current IEPs or Section 504 plans, the District shall convene an ARD or Section 504 committee meeting. This meeting shall include persons from their prior educational placement and carefully consider data from various sources to determine their needs, specifically with respect to participation in PISD@Home Instruction.

 

      • Lessons will be modified/accommodated as indicated in the students’ IEP or §504 Plan.
      • Lessons will be provided through asynchronous instruction with scheduled synchronous support.
      • Links will be provided to guide students to virtual platforms for lesson participation.
      • Supplementary lesson materials will be uploaded to the district-designated virtual platforms as appropriate.
      • Student data will be collected, and progress monitored.
      • ARD/IEP committee meeting will be convened to address any concerns with progress on IEP goals/objectives or in the general education curriculum.

 

    • Related Services:Related services are those needed for the student to benefit from his/her educational program. Some related services can feasibly and appropriately be provided to the student on a web-based or online basis, while some services, such as occupational therapy, may require in-person delivery of services. For students who participate in PISD@Home Instruction and require related services, the District will arrange either for services to be provided virtually or in person at a designated district location.

 

      • Service providers will:
        • Provide indirect services virtually when possible.
        • Follow the schedule of services as designated in the students’ IEP/§504 Plan. If service requirements cannot be met due to closure, the impact of the delay on services must be addressed when the ARD committee convenes.
        • Provide direct services virtually during school day when appropriate.
        • Monitor student progress and communicate with the educational team to ensure implementation of the students IEP/§504 Plan.


    • Parental Role:The inherent nature of PISD@Home Instruction envisions an active and important role for parents in implementing and monitoring. Parents assist in the implementation by facilitating the attendance and participation of the student in PISD@Home Instuction and ensuring that the student remains on-task as required for participation and progress. Parents will be provided training and orientation with respect to the applicable technology and their role in the program. Parents will also be expected to communicate and coordinate frequently with case managers with respect to the student’s performance and progress. Failure of parents to play their expected role with respect to the web-based and online program may jeopardize a student’s performance and progress in the program.

 

    • Equipment:Parents must understand and acknowledge that any equipment provided by the District remains the property of the District and must be returned if the student withdraws, graduates, or services are otherwise terminated. Parents and students must commit to using the technology as directed and make best efforts to avoid damage to either hardware or software. Misuse of, or damage to, the technology despite warnings and training is a factor that the student’s IEP team may consider in determining whether PISD@Home Instruction is appropriate to meet the student’s needs.

 

  • Provision of Resource and Inclusion Services:

 

    • Special education teachers will follow the general education guidelines for completing lesson plans for each resource class whether Face-to-Face or PISD@Home Instruction as appropriate.
    • Special and general education teachers will collaborate to ensure lessons are designed to meet the needs of each student.
    • All teachers are required to complete differentiated lesson plans to meet the needs of the IEP-entitled students they support whether instruction is in the Face-to-Face or PISD@Home Instruction setting.

 

  • Lack of Progress Guidance

 

    • Whether Face-to-Face or PISD@Home instruction, special education teachers should review the progress of each student on their caseload weekly (i.e., grade books, data collection, etc.) and determine what, if any, additional supports may be needed for each student to continue to progress in the general education curriculum and on their IEP goals/objectives.
    • Special education teachers should, after other interventions have been unsuccessful, request to convene an ARD/IEP meeting to address lack of progress.
    • When Face-to-Face instruction resumes fully, annual ARD committees should address student-specific needs resulting from closure. On a case-by-case basis, this might include discussions of COVID-related compensatory services or a need for extended school year (ESY) services. ARD/IEP committees should:
      • Answer any questions and address any parent concerns regarding COVID-related compensatory services.
      • Determine what services, if any, are needed.
      • Document the discussion and decision in the deliberations, including:
        • Start and end dates,
        • Frequency,
        • Duration,
        • Area of service, and
        • Goals services will address
      • Provide prior written notice to parents following any offer of COVID-related compensatory services.
      • Indicate whether or not the parents agree with the recommendation of COVID-related compensatory or ESY services.

 

  • ARD/IEP and Section 504 Meeting Attendance:

 

    • At this time, Remote ARD/IEP and §504 Meetings will be encouraged through the Google Meets platform. However, Face-to-Face meetings will be made available when appropriate.
      • Sanitizing measures will occur before and after each visit and the visitor must follow the same protocols outlined for the district staff.

 

  • Special Education Evaluation Guidelines:

 

    • Prioritizing Evaluations:
      • While an effort will be made to catch up on as many evaluations as possible, precedence will given to evaluations based on a variety of factors including but not limited to:
        • The original evaluation due date,
        • The type of evaluation needed (initials, special requests, etc.)
        • Levels of support required when school resumes based on records review and remote evaluation date,
        • Student’s age, motivation, and ability to participate in an unfamiliar setting with evaluators in PPE.

 

    • Scheduling Evaluations:
      • Beginning July 27, 2020, Assessment staff will reach out to the parents of students whose evaluation timelines were missed due to the Covid-19 pandemic to set up an appointment for testing.
        • When scheduling, assessment staff will describe the Screening Guidelines and Drop-Off and Pick-Up procedures. A follow-up email will be sent outlining these guidelines for parent/guardian reference.
          • Assessment staff will:
          • Focus on social distancing and hand hygiene routinely as well as wearing face coverings/masks as appropriate.
          • Utilize a clear desk shield to maintain safe distancing when appropriate.
          • Properly sanitize evaluation area and all materials prior to and after each evaluation appointment.
      • When appropriate, remote evaluations will be made available through the Google Meets platform. Prior to the day of remote testing, Assessment staff will provide parent/guardian with proper testing procedures to follow.

 

  • Exposure Prevention Strategies:

 

      • Special education services are oftentimes delivered in a small group setting with hands-on support. Special education teachers and service providers will take precautions to reduce any unintentional exposure by:
      • Creating supplementary aid and manipulative kits for each student as appropriate
        • Update as needed per unit of instruction
        • Follow procedures for sanitizing items prior to distributing to students
        • Laminate supplemental aids so they can be easily cleaned and reused
      • Strategically scheduling students
        • Limit variation of student groupings as appropriate
        • Minimize number of special education staff working with a particular group of students to the extent possible
        • Adhere to Poth ISD district guidelines regarding number of students and staff in a specific location at any given time
      • Facilitating safe small group activities
        • Adhere to social distancing requirements to the extent possible.
        • Ensure sanitization of space before and after each small group.
        • Students for whom it is developmentally appropriate should wear face coverings over the nose and mouth as explained in the Poth ISD Health and Safety Back-to-School Guidance. Students’ individual needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
      • Supervising transitions
        • Follow all Poth ISD district guidelines.
        • Practice social distancing of students in hallways and other common areas to the extent possible.
        • Provide visual supports or schedules that highlight social distancing when transitioning between classrooms or activities as stated in a students’ IEP.

 

 

For additional questions or concerns, please contact Lori Spencer, Director of Special Education, at lspencer@pothisd.us.