October 1, 2021
As a new school year has begun, the Office of Special Education (OSE) has received questions about COVID Recovery Services during the current 2021-22 academic year, and wanted to provide additional information to families.
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What’s happened so far?
Last year, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recommended that following schools reopening, “after a period of instruction, IEP Teams should consider individual student data to document recoupment of skills or persisting skill deficits and consider the student’s progress compared to the progress of all students during the extended school closure”.
During the 2020-21 academic year, IEP teams reviewed student performance and data including pre-COVID closures, student participation and performance during COVID closures, and performance upon return to school (including in-person instruction, virtual instruction and/or hybrid instruction) to assess skills in relation to pre-COVID closure and learning rate compared to peers. VDOE guidance indicated that IEP teams should be convened when there was a lack of expected progress as noted by data collection, reevaluations, and/or parent concern. Parents/guardians are members of their children’s IEP teams. If IEP teams determined that Recovery Services were required, Arlington Public Schools (APS) recommended that IEP teams calculate the time, duration and frequency of Recovery Services to correspond with nine-week reporting periods as much as possible and recommended that various forms of data regarding progress be reviewed by IEP team members on a regular basis each quarter. As a result of IEP Team determinations and consultation with families regarding student availability during the summer months:
- some students received recovery services during the 2020-21 school year;
- some students received recovery services during the 2021 summer break; and
- some students began receiving recovery services this fall (2021)
As noted in the OSE’s clarification, once Recovery Services are agreed upon, implemented and delivered, Case Carriers would contact parents/guardians to inform them that Recovery Services were complete, and parents/guardians or other IEP team members wishing to consider either additional Recovery Services or a continuation for another nine weeks may reconvene the IEP team.
Are recovery services still being provided?
Yes. Families of some students determined to require recovery services last year requested that the recovery services begin this fall, and some students’ IEP teams have made decisions, based on data, that continuing recovery services are required. Recovery Services may occur before or after school hours, or be embedded in the school day when appropriate.
Is my child’s Recovery Services progress monitored?
Yes. Recovery services progress reports will be completed and shared with parents.
Are Recovery Services addressed in Virginia statute/regulations?
No, but VDOE has published a Recovery Services Guidance document.
What should I do if I have concerns about my child’s learning and/or progress in school?
Parents are always encouraged to talk with the child’s case carrier if there are concerns about a child’s progress, and request an IEP team meeting if needed. Although Recovery Services were designed to be short term to address concerns related to loss of learning and/or lack of access to instruction specific to pandemic school closures, it is important that a child’s IEP reflects present levels of academic achievement and functional performance; includes specific and measurable annual goals, accommodations and modifications necessary to address educational needs; and identifies specialized instruction and related services required to ensure that each child receives a free and appropriate public education. As always, parent input is noted and considered during the IEP meeting, and although IEP team meetings are scheduled on an annual basis, parents can request an IEP Team meeting at any time during the year.
Where can I learn more?
Parents can contact their child’s case carrier, or contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.