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News Update

As students with disabilities return to classrooms, Education Department updates guidance

Schools must continue providing high-quality services to students with disabilities, regardless of whether those students are learning at school, at home or a combination of both, according to new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

The detailed, 41-page guidance covers everything from mask requirements to parent meetings for individualized education programs, which set academic and developmental goals for students enrolled in special education.

“No matter what primary instructional delivery approach is used, (districts) remain responsible for ensuring that a free, appropriate public education is available to all children with disabilities,” according to the guidance. “Therefore, before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the (district) must ensure that each child with a disability has access to educational opportunities, including all special education and related services.”

The guidance also covers services provided during school breaks, technology that helps students learn, mental health and other topics.