OSS Communication to Families - COVID19

OSS Communication to Families - COVID19
Posted on 03/13/2020

Dear Office of Student Services Parents/Families,

Our district is working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to address questions and concerns as it relates to students who receive special education or related services during the closure.

Similar to what Dr. Salim shared in his March 9th Preparedness Update we are actively engaged in preparation and prevention activities. Below you will find updated information and guidance as of March 13, 2020.

Instructional Activities

  • The Office of Curriculum & Instruction has developed guidelines and online resources to support distance learning opportunities for students grades Jk-12. The goal of providing distance learning opportunities is to extend learning opportunities while schools are closed due to the outbreak. The Office of Student Services has asked special educators to compile additional resources and activities to address the special education services that are in a student's IEP and any of the accommodations or modifications that are supposed to be reflected in a student's IEP. View Instructional Activities (pdf) >>

IEP Meetings

  • All IEP meetings will be rescheduled when the district reopens.

Out of District School Closures

  • Communication about School Closures: If your child is currently enrolled in a 45 day placement, day placement, or residential program, you will receive communication directly from that school regarding emergency closings. As a proactive measure, some schools have decided to close their schools. During this time, schools will continue to assess the situation as well as continue to develop and implement practices and policies that maximize their ability to maintain a safe environment for our community. While we know this may present additional challenges for families, we are aware that these schools are working to keep your child's safety and well-being a central focus. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out directly to your child's day or residential program.
  • If your child’s school is closed, please contact SP&R at (781) 224-0003 to inform them that transportation is not needed.

Transportation to Out of District Schools

  • Cambridge Public Schools Closure: In the case of an emergency closure, your child’s transportation will continue without interruption. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s transportation, please email Janet Snedeker.

Department Events

  • Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Events: Until further notice, all school events, such as performances, family events, or family conferences are canceled. However, this may change as we continue to monitor the situation in collaboration with public health officials. If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to Zuleka Queen-Postell.

Tutoring/Home Based Services

  • As a proactive measure, some outside academic, ABA home-based services, and related services agencies may pause in the provision of services in the interest of the health, safety and welfare.
  • We have received several questions from staff regarding tutoring. At this time, we are asking that staff refrain from going to the homes of students to provide special education and/or related services. We have made the difficult decision to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Compensatory Services

  • The district is not required to provide services to eligible students during this closure (as shared by Commissioner Riley on Friday, March 13, 2020).

Berkshire Street Staff

  • During the district closure, 135 Berkshire Street will remain open. We ask that if you have a question or concern, please email or call the office. 
Once we receive guidance from the United States Department of Education on providing services to children with disabilities during a COVID-19 outbreak, we will send that to you.

Please do not hesitate to send additional questions and ideas to cps@cpsd.us so that we can respond to the concerns of our community. Thank you.

Best,

Dr. Alexis Morgan, Assistant Superintendent

Office of Student Services

 

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