On June 30, 2020, ISBE issued an FAQ document with the purpose of assisting school districts in the transition to in-person instruction. This document, which supplements ISBE’s general guidance on return to in-person instruction during Phase 4, does not include waivers or offer flexibility on existing rules. Rather, it summarizes past and current recommendations in a potpourri of categories including (1) ESY, (2) compensatory services, (3) evaluations, (4) class sizes, (5) homebound services, (6) health and safety factors, (7) IEP meetings/mediations/hearings, (8) delivery of special education instruction and related service, and (9) rules related to private special education schools. An abbreviated version of the guidance, or “cheat sheet” follows. Also check out this post providing additional considerations and analysis related to planning for a return to in-person instruction.
The explanation provided by ISBE is a welcome change from the prior recitation of the statement from the Department of Education about compensatory services. ISBE recognizes that compensatory education is available only if the student was denied FAPE. Additionally, such services should address the educational deficits resulting from the failure to provide FAPE, day or day or hour for hour services are not required. Check out this post for additional analysis of the compensatory education issue.
Homebound instruction can be provided in-person when required by the student’s IEP and in compliance with IDPH safety requirements (including face covering, hand washing, symptom and temperature checks, cleaning and sanitizing equipment and materials, and social distancing). Districts can consider a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction or full remote instruction, as long as at least two hours of direct instruction are provided.
You can access ISBE’s complete Special Education FAQ here.