U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Author:  Heather Edwards 

On March 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Question and Answers document outlining local educational agencies’ responsibilities to address how, what, and when services should be provided to children with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. The U.S. Department of Education advises, among other things, that:

  1. If an LEA closes its schools to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, and does not provide any educational services to the general student population, then an LEA would not be required to provide services to students with disabilities during that same period of time.
  2. IEP and Section 504 teams would need to make an individualized determination as to whether compensatory services are needed under applicable standards and requirements.
  3. If a child with a disability is absent for an extended period of time because of a COVID-19 infection and the school remains open, then the IEP team must determine whether the child is available for instruction and could benefit from homebound services such as online or virtual instruction, instructional telephone calls, and other curriculum-based instructional activities, to the extent available.

For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Girard, Edwards, Stevens & Tucker LLP.

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