Updates for Special Education Students and Families

5/14/2020

Dear Parent/Guardians of students who are eligible for Extended School Year (ESY) programming for the Summer of 2020,

Due to the closure of our buildings and current CDC guidelines, we will be providing ESY services remotely this summer.  Structured, remote ESY programming will be provided between July 13 and July 24th as outlined below.  Staff assigned to work with your student will be in contact with you with details for how activities will be made available. 

  • Individualized activities aligned to your student’s ESY goals will be provided

  • Online morning meetings

  • Online progress monitoring sessions

  • Teletherapy sessions for speech, OT, and/or PT if your student’s therapist has recommended direct therapy during ESY.

If requested, as an alternative for families that choose not to have their child participate in the ESY services remotely as referenced above, individualized activities aligned to your student’s ESY goals can be provided electronically or in a packet for you to complete with your child over the summer. These would include activities from your child’s related service providers when appropriate as well.  Completed activities can be returned to your student’s 2020-21 teacher at the beginning of the new school year. 

Additionally, if we are permitted to do so as per the governor’s orders and CDC guidelines, we hope to offer additional activities in our buildings for identified students this summer.  We are beginning to prepare opportunities for students in August to focus on transitioning back to the school environment.  Additional information will be shared with parents as these opportunities are developed. 

Sincerely,

Aaron Royhab, Director of Special Education

 

4/1/2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our Special Education Teachers have been working to contact each of their students/families to review a “National Emergency IEP Addendum / Revision” document that we have prepared.  If they were not able to reach you as intended, I have asked our Special Education Teachers to provide my office a draft copy of this document so we can mail it to you.  If you have not already received this document in the mail, it should be arriving soon.  The information reviewed within your child’s “National Emergency IEP Addendum / Revision” will assist your child’s IEP team to continue to provide services during this mandated school closure, identify what additional supports can be provided, and identify what supports as outlined in each IEP are not applicable in a remote learning model.

If you have not heard directly from your child’s IEP Case Manager, please contact them to provide an email address that they can use to contact you.  If you don’t have an email address, please call their district phone extension.  Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

Thank you for your support and continued flexibility.

Sincerely, 

Aaron Royhab, Director of Special Education

 

March 30, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

Today, Dr. White shared a Confidentiality Notice with all Butler Area School District families. This is particularly important for students who receive special education services as we move forward with remote learning opportunities that may involve Google Classroom, Google Meets, and other online platforms. 

You can review the Confidentiality Notice here: https://www.basdk12.org/Content2/1654

Sincerely,

Aaron Royhab, Director of Special Education


March 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of students receiving Special Education services at the Butler Area School District,

I hope you and your family are well.  Thank you for your flexibility and support as our district transitions to a remote learning model during this mandated closure.  

We know that remote learning will be a challenge for many of our students during this unprecedented time.  Our teachers have been working hard to develop ways to prepare and deliver instruction using this model in an attempt to continue to provide the necessary support many of our students with disabilities need.  We are benefiting from support from numerous resources including the Midwestern Intermediate Unit, the Pennsylvania Technical and Training Network, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and our various consultants.

As Dr. White referenced in his correspondence on March 23, 2020, our special education teachers are in the process of reaching out to each of their students/families to talk through how we can best support our students with IEPs while they are learning remotely.  We will be presenting a “National Emergency IEP Addendum / Revision” document created for this purpose. The information reviewed within this document will assist your child’s IEP team to continue to provide services during this mandated school closure, identify what additional supports can be provided, and identify what supports as outlined in each IEP are not applicable in a remote learning model.

We will still be scheduling and developing annual Individualized Education Plans as they come due using a phone or video conference platform.  We will also be able to work through Evaluations and Reevaluations that do not require face-to-face assessments or observations with parent or guardian consent.  However, Evaluations of students with disabilities requiring face-to-face assessments or observations will need to be delayed until school reopens.  

Upon the return to a typical school program, your child’s IEP team will reconvene to establish a plan to address any skills that may have been lost during the closure.  As Dr. White referenced in his previous correspondence, some students may need additional academic support, which we intend to provide. For other students, we will plan for additional learning opportunities made available this summer. 

We will share further information as we receive it from the Governor regarding this mandated school closure and our plan moving forward.  Future updates specific to special education will be posted on our website.. Thank you for your support and continued flexibility.

Sincerely,

Aaron Royhab, Director of Special Education