New Q&A Highlights Certain IDEA Requirements Related to Individualized Education Programs Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a Q&A entitled the Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of Individualized Education Programs in the Least Restrictive Environment under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

This second in a series of Q&As builds on the August 24 press release and demonstrates the Department’s continued commitment to support States to ensure they have the information necessary to carry out these important requirements and to make good use of the additional American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to ensure the full implementation of IDEA requirements.

“The pandemic didn’t alter IDEA’s guarantee of a free appropriate public education for children with disabilities,” said OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Katherine Neas. “As more and more students return to in-person learning, the Department emphasizes the critical role that IEP Teams, including parents, have in making individualized decisions about each child’s educational needs, including assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and safety considerations and on providing appropriate special education and related services.”

Topics covered under this latest Q&A, focusing on Individualized Education Programs (IEP), include:

  • Ensuring IEPs Are in Effect at the Start of the School Year
  • Convening the IEP Team
  • Consideration of Special Factors
    • Considering the Assistive Technology Needs of a Child with a Disability
    • Addressing the Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs of Children with Disabilities
    • Addressing the School-Related Health Needs of Children with Disabilities with Underlying Medical Conditions
  • Determining Appropriate Measurable Annual Goals & Considering the Child’s Need for Compensatory Services
  • Making Extended School Year (ESY) Services Determinations
  • Considering Secondary Transition Services
  • Making Educational Placement Decisions
  • Resolving Disagreements Regarding a Child’s Educational Program

Read the Q&A on IEPs Under IDEA

Last modified on September 30, 2021

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Information Technology Specialist, U.S. Department of Education