FAQ: Special Education
Posted: August 2020 (en español)
Delivery of Special Education Services
On August 5th, the Newport News School board voted for all students to begin the school year with virtual learning during the first quarter (September 8th – November 2nd). In order to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities and the provision of a free and appropriate education for students with disabilities during virtual instruction, NNPS has developed guidelines that recognize the unique needs of students with disabilities and are aligned with the Virginia Department of Education's Phased Guidance for Virginia Schools and the CDC Guidance for Schools.
During virtual learning, students with and without disabilities will follow the division-wide schedule for virtual learning. Specialized instruction and related services will be provided to students according to their Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) using multiple formats for the delivery of instruction. Learning may occur live (synchronous instruction) or independently (asynchronous instruction). A variety of online learning environments may be used for synchronous instruction, including but not limited to: small-group instruction, whole-group instruction co-taught with a general education teacher, and collaborative learning groups.
Students receiving instruction primarily in the general curriculum will follow the division-wide schedule for their grade level and classes. Specially designed instruction will be provided according to their IEP, with special education teachers providing services by “pushing in” to synchronous classes when indicated (co-teaching, collaboration, and/or consulting with the general education teacher) or “pulling out” to virtual breakout rooms or separate virtual sessions (resource) when indicated in the IEP.
Students receiving services primarily in the special education setting using an adapted curriculum and participating in the Virginia Alternative Assessment Program (VAAP) will also participate in a variety of online learning environments, including but not limited to: live (synchronous) whole- and small-group instruction with their special education teachers. Direct instruction may be supplemented with activities to be completed independently using a variety of resources familiar to the student. Students will receive specially designed instruction as determined by their IEP. Students will follow the division-wide schedule for instruction as much as is appropriate for the student.
Students will continue to receive accommodations as indicated in the IEP if those same accommodations are needed for virtual instruction. Special education teachers will communicate with parents to provide guidance for using the accommodations during virtual instruction.
Related Service providers will be contacting parents during the first week of school as part of an initial contact plan to schedule service sessions. Providers will also collaborate with teachers and other service providers to coordinate schedules and services. Services will be delivered live unless mitigating circumstances apply.
Special education teachers will provide small group and large group instruction to address IEP goals and curriculum using a variety of virtual platforms. Additionally, live activities will be provided to supplement the teacher-led instruction. Teachers will also contact parents/guardians to provide guidance in addressing natural learning opportunities at home.
Due to continued requirements for social distancing, all IEP meetings will be held using a virtual platform. Meetings may be conducted using video-conferencing or tele-conferencing tools (for example, ZOOM, conference call, telephone). Special education teachers will communicate with parents/guardians to schedule these meetings in a timely manner and, at that time, determine parents/guardians preferred virtual platform for the IEP meeting.