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CA Department of Public Health Approves Learning Pods

Ever since it was announced that LA county schools would remain closed for the fall, parents have been searching for ways to make distance learning more effective and regain a sense of normalcy for their children.  Parents have sought out safe socialization opportunities, since their children no longer have the opportunity interact with their peers in a school setting.  Parents …

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Advocating For Your Child During the Pandemic

COVID-19 and the consequent school closures have presented unique challenges for students with IEPs and their parents.  We have previously covered distance learning, compensatory services, new IEP requirements, mental health, and online resources related to the pandemic.  Through today’s blog, we will provide you with sample language that you can use when advocating for your child’s rights during COVID-19.  Please …

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A Closer Look at Evidence Based Distance Learning

On August 4, 2020, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) hosted a live-streamed webinar about resources and practices to support the continuity of learning during COVID-19 for children with disabilities.  This webinar shared a variety of strategies and resources that are useful to both educators and parents navigating distance learning. Each of the panelists offered different resources and strategies …

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NEW LAW: REQUIRING IEPS TO INCLUDE DISTANCE LEARNING PROVISIONS

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes related to educational services which impact students receiving special education. On June 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed the 2020 Budge Act and accompanying budget-implementing legislation, including Senate Bill (SB) 98 (Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020), the education omnibus trailer bill. This Senate Bill changes various provisions in the California Education …

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Gavin Newsom’s Address Regarding Schools Reopening: Most Schools will Not Reopen this Fall

On Friday, July 17, 2020 Gavin Newsom gave an address regarding the state of education in California given the impact of COVID-19. Newsom started his address with some “Bottom Line” points. First, he said that learning is non-negotiable, and that schools must provide meaningful instruction during the pandemic whether they are physically open or closed. Newsom’s second bottom line point …

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New U.S. Department of Education Guidance: Dispute Resolution During COVID-19

On June 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) issued new guidance regarding dispute resolution in special education in the current COVID-19 environment.  This guidance does not create any additional requirements outside of the law.  Rather, it provides an interpretation of existing law in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This guidance was issued in two parts, one applying to …

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Breaking news from LAUSD

May 18, 2020 The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has issued a Prior Written Notice explaining its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its distance learning program. On March 16, 2020, LAUSD closed its schools due to COVID-19.  On April 13, 2020, LAUSD extended its school closures through June 12, 2020, the end of the 2019-2020 school year.  In the meantime, …

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A Report Back from A Conversation State Director of Special Education, California Department of Education

On May 4, 2020, Associate Attorney, Alex Rodriguez tuned into a conversation with Kristin Wright, State Director of Special Education at California Department of Education (“CDE”). This report back is a summary of the call, and does not represent legal advice. Ms. Wright stated that parents with special needs children, who are struggling during the pandemic to get the appropriate …

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Mental Health During COVID-19

Dealing with the drastic lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19 can be very stressful for both parents and students. In light of these changes, it is especially important that we protect our mental health and that of those around us. Parents may find our new normal overwhelming, having to now take on the role of being schoolteachers and counselors, especially as …

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Governor Newsom Discusses Outline to Reopen Schools

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom gave an address that outlined a plan to reopen California. On the four phases of reopening, California’s schools fall into the “Phase Two,” category of re-opening. He also mentioned opening some school districts as early as July or August in order to remediate learning that has been lost during this time. These early reopenings will likely …