WELCOME TO THE OFFICE OF PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES
Provision of Services for Students with Disabilities During School Closure Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
The Sag Harbor School District commitment to protecting the safety and health of all of our students, staff, their families as well as the broader community is a priority during these unprecedented and challenging times. Our District personnel in collaboration with various stakeholders have been working tirelessly to adjust, adapt and support these efforts in the most efficient and effective way possible. This includes the support of our students with differing needs and we appreciate these ongoing efforts.
Universal Access and Supports for All Students:
It is our belief that supporting all students including Students with Disabilities (SWD), students who are English Language Learners (ELL), those who have other specialized needs and/or circumstances should be embedded in the way we support all students.This is why the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Department has been working as an integral part of the leadership team for the overall approach to continued instruction. Our commitment to an inclusive environment does not waiver in times of crisis.The provision of continuity of learning is primarily supported through access to all remote learning opportunities provided to the general student population and accommodations/adjustments are determined on an individualized basis, as needed and according to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
Provision of Special Education Services:
In planning for equal access to the continuity of learning specific to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that extends beyond the District’s universal approach to remote instruction the individual student’s needs must be taken into consideration and the provision of Special Education services will be made to the extent possible. Assistive technology, instructional phone calls, teletherapy, teleintervention, video conferencing, meetings held on digital platforms are a few of the practices that are/will be implemented. According the Federal and New York State recent guidance documents Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) during this time “may include, as appropriate, special education and related services provided through distance instruction provided virtually, online or telephonically” to the extent possible and consistent with privacy interests (Suriano, 2020).
Committee on Special Education:
The Committee(s) on Special Education and Preschool Special Education in the Sag Harbor School District will continue to run as scheduled through a digital meeting platform provided the parent(s)/guardian(s) agree.Options will include audio and video participation. It is important to hold Annual Review and Reevaluation meetings to the extent possible in order to ensure that all students with a current IEP will have an IEP for the 2020-2021 school year. Exceptions other than Parent/Guardian request for a reschedule may be made if face to face evaluations are still needed to complete the packet and/or Initial Eligibility determinations are being made. There will be flexibility regarding Committee membership with Parent/Guardian and School District written consent.
Guidance regarding support for our students during this time has been ongoing and is consistently being updated. You have our assurance that the leadership team continues to review all available resources, guidance documents and feedback and will be following up by making adjustments when appropriate. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.
Be well and stay safe,
Carleen Meers, PhD | Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Sag Harbor Union Free School District
200 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
(631) 725-5300 ext. 461