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Message from Director of Student Services
Carol Riccardi-Gahan
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians of our Students Receiving Special Education Services,

We understand that school closures have a significant impact on our students with disabilities, and that you will have substantial questions regarding how the school district will accommodate your students during this period.  

We are in discussions as a district as to our strategy to provide educational enrichment opportunities to all students within our district.  It’s imperative that we do our very best to provide connections to school for both academic and social continuity. As an administration team, we will be making adjustments as we learn more from the Governor, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Office for Special Education Programs  (OSEP) and communicating that to you. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times with you.  

Please find below guidance that we have developed in accordance with the Office of Special Education Programs(OSEP), DESE, and the Governor’s order dated March 15, 2020,. 

  • School closure means that no required IEP services will be provided with the exception of students who are in Out of District Day/Residential Programs, so long that they remain open.

    • Transportation will continue to be provided to these students so long as the transportation company remains operational.

    • If these programs become inoperational, many will have back-up plans to provide educational enrichment opportunities.  Please keep in contact with those schools for updates.

  • Educational Opportunities will be made available to coincide with all students who have access to such options. 

    • Note:  these services are not required, however, we wish to do all we can to provide a continued connection to the education environment. 

    • What will it look like---anticipate a mixture of online communication, access to enrichment activities that can be completed at home, and/or other types of activities such as yoga for physical movement. 

    • We are compiling a list of resources that our staff has been sharing with us.  This list will be broken down into grade levels and/or topics. Special Education components will be within the list provided to all families.  As a family, you will be able to pick and choose what will fit your needs.  

    • IEP services will resume upon return to operational status.

Once school resumes, the district will review how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to individual students and convene individual IEP team meetings as necessary to make an individualized determination about whether a student needs additional services.  Maynard Public Schools is taking our guidance on this from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and will continue to share their recommendations with you as we get them. 

  • Home/Hospital tutoring will not be provided during school closure.  Students currently receiving these services will have access to the educational opportunities discussed above. 

  • Timelines: 

    • All new referrals, evaluations, re-evaluations, IEP meetings, paperwork distribution,  and all other state and federal timelines will freeze while the district is in closure. 

    • Current Extended Evaluations will continue if the school completing the evaluation remains open.  The timeline for completion of these evals will be extended based on the total number of days the Maynard Public Schools are closed.

  • Upon our return from closure, we ask for your patience while we try to reschedule Individualized Education Plan Team meetings.

    • We are exploring the possibility of holding virtual IEP Team meetings for meetings that were scheduled during the closure.  We would need your consent to do so and we will be in contact with you directly if we are to propose this option. There may be meetings that cannot be held in this fashion, as Maynard Public School staff may not have access to the necessary data and materials  This would impede our ability to prepare and present a drafted IEP for virtual IEP meetings. 

  • Weekly communication will come from the district and building administration to our community. Individual staff members/special education liaisons will be communicating with families on a weekly basis at this time.  

State/Federal Resource Guidance

We want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.  Please continue to look for our district communication from Mary Jane Rickson, Interim Superintendent of Schools, to keep up to date on next stages of our planning. 

Sincerely,

Carol Riccardi-Gahan

Director of Student Service