Return to Learn

Below you will find a list of Return to Learn Resources as well as a video from Dr. Barb Guy who provides an overview of Return 2 Learn concepts and guidance, orients the audience to the department's Return 2 Learn resources, and provides answers to some of the questions families most frequently contact the ASK an Advocate Helpline about regarding Return 2 Learn.

Remote Learning vs Homebound vs Homeschool: Helping Education Leaders and Communities Identify the Key Differences

Sometimes people think that remote learning, homebound services, and homeschooling are the same thing, but they are not. Each have state specific policies and procedures for implementation. Remote learning is an alternative instructional learning model being utilized in school systems across the county in various ways as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Review the comparison below to understand the key differences in each and how IDEA provisions apply.

Read the NASDSE PDF

Infographic - Participating in Virtual IEP Meetings

At times, you may not be able to join a special education meeting in person. Fortunately, technology allows meetings to be held virtually, by phone or via the Internet. This is now happening with many different kinds of meetings-IEP Team meetings, mediations, resolution sessions, and due process hearings.

Check out the IDEAs that Work Infographic

Considerations for IEP Teams Regarding How to Address Progress Monitoring

Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice that is used to assess students' academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or with an entire class"

Read the AEA's Google Document

FERPA, IEPs and Virtual Learning

This document is intended to answer common questions regarding obligations to meet FERPA requirements while serving learners with disabilities through virtual learning (i.e., Continuous Learning). It is not intended to provide a comprehensive discussion of FERPA regulations. This resource is organized around three topical areas of consideration: Virtual IEPs or other Confidential Meetings, Virtual Lessons and Collection of Data.

Read the AEA's Google Document

Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets

This resource was developed in response to requests from state and local educational agencies and parents about how to hold and participate in virtual individualized education program (IEP) meetings. While intended to meet a need during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we hope the content will have broader application.

Read the IDEAs that Work PDF

Electronic Signatures for IDEA Administrative Purposes

Electronic signatures are an acceptable and convenient means of obtaining consent for IDEA administrative purposes at any time. The convenience of electronic signatures has become even more apparent during this response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This support document provides reminders of when consent is needed for IDEA administrative procedures and suggestions for ways to obtain the electronic signature. The information provided here is not to be confused with consent to receive electronic information or privacy requirements for provision of teleservices.

Read the AEA's Google Document

ASK an Expert Webinar with Dr. Barb Guy - Published August 2020

Dr. Guy provides an overview of Return 2 Learn concepts and guidance, orients the audience to the department's Return 2 Learn resources, and provides answers to some of the questions families most frequently contact the ASK an Advocate Helpline about regarding Return 2 Learn.

Watch the ASK an Expert Video

Return-to-Learn: IDEA Service Delivery Scenarios

The purpose of this document is to support teams in navigating between appropriate methods of service delivery for students in a Continuous Learning (i.e., virtual) model. These services can and may change throughout the school year and between settings as teams determine what is required to best meet student needs.

Read the AEA's Google Document

School Accommodations and Modifications: A Parent and Child Checklist

It is important to identify, discuss, and include accommodations and modifications necessary to meet the specific needs of a student in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students who receive services under a 504 Plan also need the same kind of individual attention to their plans for accommodations and modifications. The following checklist might be a good starting point for you and your child to think about his or her individual needs to include in the IEP or 504 Plan.

Read the PACER Center PDF

9 Recommendations for Inclusive Learning Recovery for Students with Disabilities

Students have missed out on opportunities to learn and develop during the pandemic. In response, the federal government is providing billions of dollars to address "instructional loss". While states, districts, and schools pilot new approaches to promote learning recovery, these practices must be held to high standards, be accessible and inclusive to students with disabilities, and must have educators prepared to serve students with disabilities effectively and equitably. As organizations focused on supporting students with disabilities, their families, and the educators who serve them, we have identified the following recommendations as necessary tomaximize the impact for students with disabilities and ensure equitable access to strategies or learning recovery

Read the PDF from the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Prior Written Notice

A Prior Written Notice (PWN) is a written explanation of a change the school district or AEA wants to make or refuses to make in a child's Individualized Educational Program (IEP). It is important that parents understand what the school plans to do (or not do) for their child. A PWN must give parents the information they need to actively participate in making decisions about their child's educational program and services.

View the Ask Resource Webpage

Sample Letter Requesting Prior Written Notice

This is an example letter for parents requesting written notice. The most important parts of the letter will be the blanks filled in with details from the parents! Parents are welcome to use part or all of the sample letter.

View the ASK Resource Webpage

Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA: A Resource to Support Children, Students, Educators, Schools, Service Providers, and Families

This resource is issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide information about long COVID as a disability and about schools'2 and public agencies' responsibilities for the provision of services and reasonable modifications to children and students for whom long COVID is a disability. The discussion here focuses on two Federal laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).3

Learn more from the US DOE