Activate Emergency IEP!!
January 10, 2022
Many schools are shifting to full or partial distance learning due to the unprecedented Omicron surge. Under California law, IEPs must include an Emergency Learning Plan for certain school closures. Don’t wait! Activate emergency IEPs now if your child’s school will be closed for more than 10 days.
All school-aged children suffered when distance learning was imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students with disabilities were especially hard-hit by distance learning, losing much-needed special education instruction, services and supports.
In June of 2020, California passed SB 98, a new law to prevent, or at least lessen, educational disruption. SB 98 requires school districts to include an emergency learning plan in all individualized education programs (IEPs). The emergency plain activates if schools are closed for more than 10 days due to a crisis situation (for example, flood, fire, pandemic, earthquake, etc.)
Under this law, every IEP must describe how your child’s educational program will be applied under emergency conditions if teaching or services can’t be provided (at school or in person) for more than 10 school days. The emergency learning plan must also include special education and related services, supplementary aids and services, transition services and extended school year services. Keep in mind that public health orders will be taken into account when activating the emergency plan.
How can you help your child avoid falling behind during school closures?
- Don’t wait. Even if your child’s school has not reached the 10-day limit, prepare as if it will happen.
- If you do not already have your child’s most recent IEP handy, obtain a copy from the school district now.
- Review the emergency learning plan included in the IEP and determine if your child requires these emergency services.
- Immediately request, in writing, that the school district activate your child’s emergency learning plan.
- If the school refuses to activate your child’s emergency learning plan, (or if it never even provided one) keep a record of the number of educational hours missed due to school closure as your child will likely be entitled to compensatory (make-up) time for lost instruction or services.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and school closures, ADAMS ESQ’s social justice circle is funding academic screenings at no charge to qualifying children with special education needs in California and Nevada. For more information on this program, contact us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us toll-free at: 1-800-785-6713. You also may want to read and repost our past COVID19-related blogs: “Go Ahead, Open Your Gifts”, “Be Bold”, “Hey! Where’s my ESY?”, “Forget About the Toilet Paper—Grab that IEP!”, “IEP Alerts for Parents” , “Special Education Teaching is Really Hard!”, “The ‘FREE’ in FAPE”, Doubling-Down on Special Education and Look Before You Leap! 5 Things to Know Before Leaving Your Child at School During a Pandemic.