The special education lawyers at the Cuddy Law Firm gave parents an update on the status of school closures in New York City during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, in this video.
Special education attorneys Alison Morris and Francesca Adamo, speaking in spring 2020, described recent announcements from the New York City Department of Education:
- School remained closed through June—the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.
- Remote learning remained in place for the last part of the school year.
- Plans for summer programs were still in flux.
This is how the closure of physical school affected special education services:
- The schools still had an obligation to provide special education instruction.
- In-person special education assessments of students with disabilities were on hold until school buildings reopened.
- Assessments that don’t require meeting face-to-face could continue over video conferencing.
- Assessments done remotely could be re-done after schools reopened if needed.
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings still should’ve been taking place (by phone or video call).
- IEPs should’ve advanced what students need, not be tailored to the unusual coronavirus pandemic situation.
- Parents should document how the services worked for their students, in case they needed to get services to make up for learning losses later.
- Some services could happen during after school hours or weekends.
When school districts fail to create and comply with IEPs, the special education lawyers at the Cuddy Law Firm can help.