Special Education COVID-19 Resources
November 17, 2020
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-94 states:
Children with disabilities and their families are particularly impacted by distance learning strategies, and they face unique and difficult challenges in receiving special education services. Current state law ends developmental delay services at age seven, but federal law, as allowed under IDEA [the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] Part B, 34 C.F.R. § 300.8(b), permits access to these services until age 9. During the peacetime emergency, some students are aging out of developmental delay services and are unable to be evaluated for other disabilities due to distance learning. This could cause students to fall behind. We must allow students who have aged out during the peacetime emergency to continue to receive services. I call upon school districts and charter schools to prioritize the safe provision of in-person instruction and services to students with disabilities whenever possible.
Question: During the Peacetime Emergency, Executive Order 20-94 allows for students currently receiving services under Developmental Delay (DD) to continue receiving special education and related services until age 9 or until the reevaluation to establish initial eligibility under another disability category has been completed. During this extension, which special education staff may provide services to these students, and which special education staff are licensed in the child’s area of disability for the purposes of multidisability team requirements?
Answer: During the Peacetime Emergency, Executive Order 20-94 allows for teachers holding an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) license to continue serving as the person licensed in the area of disability to meet school aged multidisability team requirements and to provide services to students eligible under the developmental delay criteria. This order does not restrict the ability of other teachers and providers with appropriate licensure to continue providing services to students eligible under DD.
Question: During the Peacetime Emergency, what should a district do if a child eligible under DD will turn 7 and the required re-evaluation for continued Part B eligibility cannot be completed?
Answer: If the Part B reevaluation can be completed during the Peacetime Emergency, then proceed with the reevaluation and make a new determination of eligibility.
If after the review of existing information the team determines that additional information is necessary to establish eligibility and collecting that information requires face-to-face assessment or observation that is not currently possible, the reevaluation would need to be delayed and the student would continue to be eligible under DD until the reevaluation can be completed. The reevaluation should be completed as soon as possible when face-to-face interactions can occur.
When the student’s reevaluation is conducted and a determination is made, the student’s enrollment record needs to be ended. If the student qualifies under a different disability, end the DD record with Status End code 99 and create a new record in the Minnesota Automated Record Student System (MARSS) with a start date on the school day following the date that the new disability is determined. In the new record, report the student’s new primary disability. If the student does not qualify upon reevaluation, end the DD with a Status End code of 99.