Special Education COVID-19 Resources

March 19, 2020

Special Education and COVID-19 Questions and Answers: Impact on Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Part C and Part B/619 Identification, Evaluation and Provision of Services

  1. How should we respond to Help Me Grow Part C referrals during the statewide temporary closure and during any period of distance learning?

Response: During the eight-day statewide temporary closure of all public school, referrals made through the Help Me Grow system will continue to be directed to the district. Please accept the referrals but take no further action at this time.

Following the eight-day statewide closure, continue to accept referrals and make initial contact with the families. During this initial contact you may tell families:

We are currently unable to come into your home. We will be providing services through distance learning options. I can share information about our program with you on the phone and then either email or mail you hard copy information.

Share information as best you can verbally, and then follow up by either emailing or mailing them a copy of the procedural safeguards and the following, as appropriate:

  • Prior written notice for screening
  • Evaluation plan and prior written notice
  • Authorizations for release of information

If parents choose to close out the referral (decline consent for evaluation), ask the family if they would be interested in re-referring in a month or two. If so, make a note in your calendar/records to make contact with them around April 15 with an update as to where we are with providing services in the home.  

  1. How should we proceed after a Part C referral?

Response: During the eight-day statewide temporary closure of all public school all post referral actions are on hold. Following the eight-day statewide closure proceed as follows:

In cases where use of a screening tool is warranted (no diagnosis, prior screening or other data indicating a suspected disability is available), a parent assessment tool such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ-SE) could be used to determine if the team will propose moving forward with an evaluation.

If there is evidence of a diagnosed condition or documentation of previous evaluation results the child is eligible. Complete as much of the assessment as possible through family interview. If you are unable to complete the assessment without a face-to-face meeting or observation, develop an interim Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) with the family.

If a disability is suspected due to prior screening, or an evaluation is requested by a parent, complete as much of the evaluation and assessment as possible. If an evaluation or assessment requires a face-to-face meeting or observation, the evaluation or assessment would need to be delayed until face-to-face contact is permitted.

  1. Do teams continue to meet to develop initial and annual IFSPs, conduct periodic reviews, and plan transitions to Part B?

Response: During the eight-day statewide temporary closure of all public school all IFSP team meetings are on hold. Following the eight-day statewide closure all IFSP team meetings will be held electronically (audio/visual). All pertinent information is to be shared with the family before the meeting (e.g., email or mail). Ongoing assessments are to be conducted as best you can, particularly in the area of concern. 

If a parent wishes to postpone services until we are able to meet face to face, indicate as such in your log notes.

  1. Can we continue to provide IFSP services in the home?

Response: From March 18 until further notice, district staff are not to go into homes or other venues to provide services. Home visits, if accepted by the family, are to be conducted either by video or phone, whichever the family is most comfortable with. You may text or email them a zoom link as needed. Other videoing options may be available, but know that zoom is the most secure. If this does not work with the family, ensure they are comfortable with another video option.  

  1. How should we respond to Help Me Grow Part B referrals during the statewide temporary closure and during any period of distance learning?

Response: During the eight-day statewide temporary closure of all public schools, referrals made through the Help Me Grow system will continue to be directed to the district. Please accept the referrals but take no further action at this time.

Following the eight-day statewide closure, continue to accept referrals and make initial contact with the families. During this initial contact share information as best you can verbally, and then follow up by either emailing or mailing them a copy of the procedural safeguards and the following, as appropriate:  

  • Prior written notice for screening
  • Evaluation plan and prior written notice
  • Authorizations for release of information

If parents choose to close out the referral (decline consent for evaluation), ask the family if they would be interested in re-referring in a month or two. If so, make a note in your calendar/records to make contact with them around April 15.  

  1. How should we proceed after a Part B referral?

Response: During the eight-day statewide temporary closure of all public school all post referral actions are on hold. Following the eight-day statewide closure proceed as follows:

In cases where use of a screening tool is warranted (no diagnosis, prior screening or other data indicating a suspected disability is available), a parent assessment tool such as the ASQ or ASQ-SE could be used to determine if the team will propose moving forward with an evaluation.

If a disability is suspected due to a diagnosed condition, prior screening results, or an evaluation is requested by a parent, complete as much of the evaluation as possible. If an evaluation requires a face-to-face meeting or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until face-to-face contact is permitted.