The Birchtree Center Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Remote Instruction Policy
Working Draft as of June 16, 2021
This policy is current with guidance that has been provided up to this date but is subject to change as additional official guidance is provided.
For information about any recent updates made to this document, click here.
Starting June 21, 2021, two service delivery models are being offered for center-based students:
- Full-time in-person instruction in our school building.
- Continued remote instruction with no-in person contact with staff. Instruction is delivered virtually and with updated educational materials delivered to the student as needed. Instruction is provided to each participating student for 5 days a week according to our current school calendar. This option is only available to students who have a documented medical need to remain in a distance learning status.
For students who are not receiving in-person services in the school building or in their homes at this time, remote instruction continues with an emphasis on IEP implementation. In this phase of remote instruction, it is imperative that IEP services and supports are implemented to the maximum extent possible.
Instructional Contact with Center-Based Students
- Special Education Case Managers and related service providers provide IEP services via remote methods according to each student’s IEP service grid.
- Remote methods of delivery of instruction include virtual options (e.g., Google Classroom, n2y, Zoom, Google Hangouts) and by delivering updated instructional materials to students as needed.
- Teletherapy sessions for related services are scheduled on a regularly occurring basis and it is expected that parents make every effort to support the student in participating in all scheduled sessions.
- Virtual instruction and teletherapy sessions occur between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm on weekdays.
Contact with Center-Based Parents
- Now that Center-Based Birchtree staff members have returned to the school building, the use of communication using their personal cell phones for calls or text messages is not permitted. Parents are provided with email addresses and work phone numbers and extensions for the specialists on their child’s educational team and these methods of contact must be used moving forward.
- If a parent or staff member has a conflict with a scheduled teletherapy session, the session should be rescheduled with the other party giving as much advance notice as possible. Sessions should be rescheduled within the same week whenever possible. Teletherapy sessions should not be cancelled with no attempt to reschedule.
- Parents are provided with the contact information for all specialists on their child’s educational team and are encouraged to reach out for support as needed. If a message is left, staff must respond by the end of the following scheduled school day.
- All specialists on a student’s educational team check in with parents using their preferred method of contact on a mutually agreed upon schedule.
- If messages are left for parents, it is expected that they respond by the end of the following scheduled school day.
- During remote instruction, The Birchtree Center is still required to maintain daily attendance records.
- If your child is unable to participate in remote learning on any given day due to illness, an appointment, etc., please continue to call the absence line by 9:00 am each day, indicating that your child will be absent along with the reason for the absence.
- If your child engages in any remote learning activities each day, they are considered present for purposes of attendance.
- If your child is unable to access learning online, they are still considered present if they are using educational materials provided by specialists on their educational team or working on functional life skills related to IEP goals and participation is documented on their individualized Remote Learning Daily Activity Options checklist.
Evidence of Participation
- In this phase of remote instruction, evidence of participation must be provided by the family on a weekly basis.
- As students participate in Google Classroom or n2y activities, Case Managers see their participation through the virtual platform.
- As students complete handouts/worksheets or other written work, the work should be returned to the specialist who assigned it in the self addressed envelope that was provided.
- As students participate in teletherapy sessions, their attendance is recorded by the participating specialist.
- As students utilize other educational materials provided by specialists on their educational team or work on functional life skills related to IEP goals, their participation is to be documented on their individualized Remote Learning Daily Activity Options checklist. The checklist must be returned to the student’s Special Education Case Manager at the end of each week. The Remote Learning Daily Activity Options checklist can be scanned or photographed and returned as an email attachment or mailed to the attention of the student’s Case Manager. Self addressed and stamped return envelopes can be provided if needed.
Progress toward IEP Goals
- The Birchtree Center is required to report on student progress toward IEP goals.
- In this phase of remote instruction, progress is reported in a narrative format with information gathered during virtual instructional sessions, teletherapy sessions, virtual learning platforms, work returned to the school, Remote Learning Daily Activity Option checklists returned to the school, and parent report.
- 6/16/2021: Update to Introduction to reflect the resumption of full-day instruction at The Birchtree Center.
- 6/26/2020: First draft of document posted.