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COVID-19 Information and Resources for Special Educators

On this page are resources and information from the Department, the U.S. Department of Education, and other sources regarding special education in the COVID-19 environment. The page is update additional guidance is available.

Please note that this page includes information that is supplemental to the resources and guidance regarding education for all students that is published on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

Guidance and Resources:

Guidance Regarding Instruction and Services for Students with Disabilities in the COVID-19 Environment:

Family Resources and Information:

Grants:

Fiscal Considerations:

Timelines:

Procedural Safeguards:

Information from Special Education Directors' Meetings:

  • April 9, 2021 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Focus of this call was the new dyslexia guidance. Also reviewed information on compensatory services, summer educational services, in-person learning, modified competency determination and reviewed information about upcoming departmental meetings and events.

  • March 26, 2021 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussions on Return to in-person learning; Special education transportation guidance; Summer educational services; Dyslexia guidelines; Modified competency determination; and DDS Advisory.

  • February 12, 2021 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussions on new compensatory services for students during the 2020-2021 school year, information on team meetings for students who are participating in remote learning programs, new information on signatures for parental consent for initial evaluation, reevaluation, or the provision of special education and related services, 258 grant, Rethinking discipline/Significant disproportionality, Procedures for temporary waiver of classroom ratios in preschool inclusionary classrooms, Modified Competency Determination (CD) Information for Students Reported as SP ("special education beyond grade 12") in SIMS, MCAS and MCAS Alternate Assessment, February 5th Question and Answers Follow Up, Extended Evaluations, Restraint Reduction and Q and A session.

  • February 5, 2021 — MCAS and MCAS-Alt Update: Question and Answer Download PowerPoint File

  • January 22, 2021 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion about the updated FAQ, the Autism Insurance Resource Center, and guidance on student participation, safety, and wellbeing, Meeting also covered updates on student assessment, equitable services, and dyslexia services.

  • December 11, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on dyslexia guidelines, updates on the special education targeted grant funding, updates on LRE in remote and hybrid instruction, and other general updates.

  • November 20, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on Serving English learners (ELs) with disabilities during in-person, hybrid, and remote learning, creating developmentally appropriate learning environments for early childhood programs (Preschool up to grade 3) during the COVID-19 pandemic, grant announcements FC247 and FC298, updates on the IEP Improvement Project, including announcement of early adopters, and other pertinent special education and COVID-19 topics.

  • November 6, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on Governor Baker's new mask order, grant funding including allowable costs, early adopters for the Individualized Education Program (IEP) improvement project, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and MCAS Alternate Assessment, significant disproportionality in special education update and remote attendance.

  • October 23, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Discussion on the IEP improvement project, procedures for temporary waiver of classroom ratios in preschool inclusionary programs, information on upcoming events, the Massachusetts dyslexia guidelines, optional/free antigen testing program and other pertinent special education information.

  • October 9, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on remote assessment, two new FAQs from OSEP and OCR, and providing least restrictive environment for preschool children and alternative compliance procedures for inclusionary programs for young children.

  • September 25, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on a variety of issues related to reopening, including remote and in-person assessment and safety considerations for in-home services. Also discuss MCAS-Alt, and significant disproportionality in special education. Includes a presentation on tele-assessment from Dr. Catherine C. Vieira-Baker of South Coast Educational Collaborative.

  • September 22, 2020 — Tele-Assessment Webinar Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video

    Webinar presented by Dr. Bill Mautz of Children's Neuropsychological Services and Dr. Joe Moldover of Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society. The webinar covers basics, limitations and challenges of tele-assessment. The presenters also demonstrate tele-assessment and discuss options for remote vs. modified in-person assessments.

    Disclaimer: DESE is committed to supporting general and special educators, administrators, related service providers, and parents in their efforts to work together to meet the needs of students. DESE is providing this webinar as a service. This does not represent an endorsement or recommendation by DESE.

  • September 3, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on updated FAQ, and reviews key information related to special education during the pandemic. Also provides information about upcoming events, trainings and resources.

  • August 20, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Discussion on new COVID-19 compensatory services technical assistance and the parent communication documentation template

  • August 6, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Update on multiple guidance and documents including discussions on preschool inclusion, deaf and hard of hearing program configuration, tele-assessment best practices and district plans for the Fall and forthcoming COVID-19 Compensatory Services and Recovery Support document.

  • July 23, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Guidance Documents and language access for families as school resumes.

  • July 9, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Comprehensive guidance for school year 2020-2021

  • June 18, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Lessons learned from colleagues

  • June 12, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Recording Watch Video Updates, summer guidance continued

  • June 9, 2020 — Recording Watch Video Summer guidance

  • June 5, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Systemic racism and being an antiracist educator, updates

  • May 29, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Remote progress monitoring, transition from Part C (EI), SEL guidance

  • May 22, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Timelines guidance, resource guide & family engagement

  • May 15, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Guidance on timelines, remote assessment

  • May 8, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Extended School Year (ESY), timelines, CARES Act

  • May 1, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Early childhood transition, timelines, secondary transition

  • April 17, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Timelines, going deeper in previous topics

  • April 9, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Resource updates, remote learning plans

  • April 3, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Remote service delivery, procedural topics

  • March 26, 2020 — Presentation Download PowerPoint File Shifting to remote instruction

Last Updated: April 14, 2021

Contact Us

Parents and guardians questions can be directed to COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov

District and school staff's questions can be directed to: Reopeningk12@mass.gov

MTEL questions can be directed to TestHelp@doe.mass.edu

Questions related to educator licensure in Massachusetts, please call the Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600, Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

 
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.