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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Information Regarding Special Education/Gifted Education services and 504 Accommodation Support Plans

The Student Services & Special Education administrative team has been working diligently to develop a plan to support the needs of our students with disabilities during this unexpected school closure. We understand that you are anxious and concerned about what this unprecedented closure will mean for your children and we appreciate your understanding and patience, especially given the rate at which changes beyond our control are occurring.

The Curriculum and Student Services teams have been in close collaboration throughout the entire planning process. As per communication provided to families, faculty meetings, teacher training, and teacher planning occurred on Monday and Tuesday of this week with flexible instruction days beginning on Wednesday, March 18th. Special education staff have been included in all aspects of this preparation. The focus for the first ten school days of closure will be to provide work to maintain/review skills and to provide a sense of routine for students and families. Teachers may supplement the work with online resources. General education teachers are expected to provide accommodations to the degree possible/appropriate based on individual student plans (IEP/GIEP/504). Special education teachers and general education teachers are expected to collaborate to ensure access to the content for students with disabilities. Staff, including special education teachers and counselors, are expected to offer office hours to be able to provide direct support to students and their families. Special education case managers will be in touch directly with the students on their caseloads and their families. During this limited period of time, no related services will be provided. We are actively working on plans for delivery of services should the forced closure extend beyond March 27, 2020.

Any IEP/GIEP/504 meetings scheduled during this 2-week closure will be rescheduled after our return, which is now scheduled for March 30, 2020. We are actively working on a contingency plan to allow for virtual meetings in the event that the closure extends beyond that date.

Excellent resources for families have been posted to the District's website and I encourage you to review those resources.

Please know that the safety, health, and welfare of our students, staff, and families must be prioritized. Everyone is experiencing their own unique challenges. Child care, home situations, and availability will vary for all -- students and staff included. Flexibility and empathy on the part of us all is essential. On behalf of the Student Services and Special Education Department, we all sincerely appreciate the understanding and patience of families as we face this new and unprecedented challenge together.

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