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  • Coronavirus/COVID-19

    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:

    Fiscal Considerations:

    Procedural Safeguards:

    Information from Special Education Directors' Meetings:

    • June 10, 2022 — DESE Presentation MCB Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was Special education updates, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) Commissioner David D'Arcangelo with information about resources and supports available through MCB, IEP Improvement Project update, Updates regarding Equitable Services Resolution funds

    • May 14, 2022 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was educator licensure including emergency licensure, licensure extensions, licensure requirements, Recent special education updates, ESY, IEP Improvement Project update, Updates regarding Equitable Services Resolution funds

    • April 14, 2022 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was Recent special education updates, IEP Improvement Project update, PRS complaints update, Updates regarding Equitable Services Resolution funds

    • March 11, 2022 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was Presentation from MassHire to describe their free system to support all schools and districts to meet your personnel needs by identifying candidates, Update on Time-Out rooms and Grant Information, USED Guidance regarding 504 Compensatory Services, DESE/DDS wraparound services information, Attendance guidance, and Information regarding Special Education Determinations.

    • February 11, 2022 — Presentation Recording FAQ
      The main focus of this meeting was DESE special education updates, Special Education Determinations, and FAQ updates.

    • January 21, 2022 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was MA Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility Determination Guidance. Special Education updates, DESE's efforts to assist LEA's related to filling positions in special education, family engagement network and professional development series.

    • November 19, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was MA Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility Determination Guidance. The presentation also includes AG's Decision on SEPACs and Open Meeting Law, OSEP Child Find FAQ, Shared Responsibility for Special Education Services in Institutional Settings, and updated PL-1 and PL-2 forms

    • September 24, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      The main focus of this meeting was IDEA Equitable Services. The presentation also includes school district responsibilities for the following topics: child find, consultation, child count, calculations, and services plans.

    • September 10, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      The focus of this meeting included key information and reminders about special education services for the 2021-2022 school year, such as further information about students with medical needs who require remote services. During the meeting, we will also discuss in detail the Department’s advisory relating to reducing or eliminating the use of time-out rooms, including the strategies, interventions, and supports that schools can proactively use to increase the amount of time students spend learning with their peers.

    • August 26, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      Focus of this meeting was the 2021-2022 Family letter and FAQ, School Opening Updates, MCAS Alt updates, Long COVID and IDEA - new guidance from OSEP, New Draft Reusable Learning Object (RLO) for Referral section of Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility (REE), and provided a link to a short survey to inform DESE on the best way to make these meetings be of assistance.

    • July 15, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      Focus of this meeting was updates to the FAQ on compensatory services, equitable services and resolution funds, implementing education in home or hospital settings, early childhood briefs, update on the IEP improvement project, and the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Reports.

    • June 11, 2021 — Presentation Recording
      Focus of this meeting was forthcoming updates to technical assistance advisory SPED 2014-5, updated reusable learning object (RLO) for De-Escalation and Prevention of Physical Restraint, a new frequently asked questions (FAQs) and individual student accommodations and implementing education in home and hospital settings.

    Contact Us

    Special Education
    Phone: 781-338-3375
    Fax: 781-338-3371
    SEPP Contact Information

    Last Updated: June 16, 2022

    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

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    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

    Voice: (781) 338-3000
    TTY: (800) 439-2370

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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.