Special Education COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19, Distance Learning and Special Education Resources

October 1, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has collected resources on special education, due process, early childhood special education, mental health, related services and protective procedures for schools and districts for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Administrators and educators preparing for children returning to school, continuing distance learning or using a hybrid model should find these resources helpful. This list will be updated as needed. Contact MDE’s Special Education division at mde.special-ed@state.mn.us with questions or suggestions.

What’s New

Questions and Answers on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Provision of Services from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Questions and Answers for K-12 Public Schools in the Current COVID-19 Environment from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights


Frequently Asked Questions on Collecting Progress Monitoring Data Virtually from the National Center on Intensive Intervention

Academic and Behavior Progress Monitoring Tools Charts from the National Center on Intensive Intervention

Teaching Remotely to Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Students (PDF): This document was originally published by the Council for Exceptional Children's Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing and shared with permission. It has tips on working remotely with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Visit the CEC-DCD website.

Educator Resources to Support Remote Learning from Wested

Distance Learning: Resources, Tools and Guidance for Minnesota Educators from Northwest Service Cooperative

Online Professional Development Activities Related to Students with Disabilities Available Free or at Low Cost (from Washington state - Microsoft Excel file)

Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning from the California Department of Education

List of online resources compiled by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center Virtual Toolkit: free online modules on dozens of topics, tips for strengthening online engagement and many other resources.

Joint National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)/Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)/Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) webinar on COVID

Providing Transition-Focused Activities Online and At Home (National Technical Assistance Center on Transition)

NASDSE webinar: Virtual Learning for Students with Disabilities — The first half of this one-hour webinar focuses on data and compares various states’ requirements for holding an IEP meeting and ensuring the delivery of services during a time when schools are closed. The second half focuses on making the transition to online education, determining if a student is appropriate to receive services via online, parental supports, etc. The PowerPoint presentation is also available for download.

Online Education and Website Accessibility: YouTube video from the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education with information on ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities for schools utilizing online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Example of distance learning plan (provided by NASDSE)

Plan and Deliver: Educating Students with Disabilities in Remote Settings from the Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Least Restrictive Environment in the Wake of COVID-19: A Brief from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)

Planning for Instruction both at School and Distance Learning: The 5C Process from the TIES Center

U.S. Department of Education / Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Resources

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Evaluation and Assessment Timelines Q&A

IDEA Part B Procedural Safeguards Q&A

IDEA Part C Procedural Safeguards Q&A

IDEA Part B Use of Funds Q&A

IDEA Part C Use of Funds Q&A

IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Procedures Q&A

IDEA Part C Dispute Resolution Procedures Q&A

Flexibility in IDEA Part B Fiscal Requirements Q&A

COVID-19 information and resources page

Q-and-A on providing services to children with disabilities during coronavirus outbreak; supplemental fact sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities

Addressing the Risks of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students

FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources

OSEP issued a bulletin on March 31, 2020, naming the OSEP funding technical assistance centers that are hubs for providing resources focused on distance learning for students with disabilities during the COVID 19 school closures. View the bulletin from the U.S. Department of Education. The two primary hubs are the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center. In addition, the TIES TA center has resources on distance learning for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

COVID-19 resources for people with autism, their families, providers and educators from the Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.

Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Infection Control

Mental Health Resources

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) Fact Sheets

Minnesota Health Care Program manual regarding telemedicine

Related Service Resources

The Minnesota Related Services organizations have met to help provide resources across disciplines. Please look to both your national and state organization and their websites to provide up to date resources and information on COVID-19. Links to the professional organizations are below with updated information.

School Social Work

School Psychologists

School Counselors

School Nurses

Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Occupational Therapists

Physical Therapists

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

Resources on Embedded Learning Opportunities for Infants and Toddlers and Preschool Children with Disabilities

Head Start guidance on enhancing inclusion using embedded learning opportunities

Using the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices

DEC Recommended Practices

MDE/Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Guidance

Guidance for Delivering Direct Student Support Services: Staff Protective Equipment

MDE 2020-21 Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools

MDH 2020-21 Planning Guidance for Schools

Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Personal Protective Equipment (MDH)

Questions and Answers for Staff, Families, and Clients of Children's Residential Facilities: COVID-19 (MDH)

Assessing Learning Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year

Academic Engagement and Attendance - Distance Learning MTSS Framework