Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers-
I hope this letter finds you all managing as best you can under these difficult circumstances. You are collectively in my thoughts every day and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our progress with remote student services.
As I mentioned previously, this remote environment is new to everyone so there will be bumps. Services we provide during this closure will look very different from actual IEP services and will be temporary for the duration of the closure. What we provide will not change your student’s IEP or impact any “stay put” rights. Educators and providers have limited materials at home with them and are also taking care of their own families, so they may have limited time.
The plan for remotely supporting students with IEPs will follow the 3/26/20 DESE guidelines, according to these guiding principles:
- The safety and wellbeing of students, families and staff is our #1 priority
- Maintaining connections between students/families and staff is our #2 priority
- Providing both indirect and direct supports to students & families is the #3 priority
- Holding IEP meetings is the #4 priority (with staff having limited time we want the focus on students and families, not paperwork)
Starting next week, providers will be reaching out to families to seek your input on what components of the IEP your student can focus on the most during this closure and where staff services and supports might have the biggest impact. We will not be holding meetings to discuss these needs as that would be impractical at this time. Remember, IEPs were written for a school environment, not a remote environment. During this closure, we will not be focusing on fully implementing IEPs as written. Instead, our indirect and direct supports (priority #3 above) will be focusing on reviewing and reinforcing skills already taught, with less focus on new content/skills. Additionally, students will only be engaged with ‘school’ for a few hours total each day and, depending on your student’s needs, services may only be a small portion of that time.
Concerning confidentiality and your student’s privacy, we want to make sure all families are aware of the limitations inherent in this remote/virtual work. To that end, here is a Notice Regarding Privacy & Confidentiality that all parents and guardians must please read.
We will be holding a very limited number of IEP Team meetings during the closure. With limited staff time, we want to prioritize work with students and families rather than paperwork. All current active IEPs will continue to be active, even if the review date passes. Until the Team writes a new IEP, the previous IEP remains in place.
The Wellesley PAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is planning some remote meetings and hopefully I will be able to join some of those. Their website can be found here: http://www.wellesleypac.org/. Now might be a good time to make sure you have access to their information and support. You can sign up for their Google group through their website.
If you have other suggestions please share them with me. Thank you again for your collaboration and support during this crisis. Please stay safe and healthy!
Director of Student Services
Wellesley Public Schools
WELLESLEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Office of Student Services
Confidentiality/Privacy Notice and Disclaimer
for Virtual Meetings/Services with Students
Our teachers and related service providers have arranged to provide some services and instruction through remote means. As our staff prepare to hold group meetings and instruction for students, staff may need to share your child’s name and your/your child’s email address with other members of the group. By participating in virtual meetings/services, you are agreeing that Wellesley Public Schools may:
- Disclose your child’s name and email address and possibly my name and email address for the purpose of participation in virtual meetings and services.
- Display the appearance and voice of my child, and sometimes of me, via the internet, for the purpose of participation in said group activities.
Also, please be advised that student meetings/lessons may be viewed by individuals in other students’ households and the Wellesley Public Schools cannot ensure your child’s privacy. By allowing your child’s participation, you are acknowledging and accepting the privacy limitations inherent in virtual meetings/classrooms. The WPS requests that you respect the privacy of our students and that you refrain from disclosing student information that you may have access to during the course of your child’s participation in virtual activities.
By allowing your child’s participation in virtual activities, you acknowledge and accept these privacy limitations.
Meetings/services/lessons may not be recorded, copied, disseminated or distributed to any person or entity.
We also request that you:
- Refrain from interrupting the teacher/provider during virtual activities.
- Refrain from engaging in disruptive conduct during virtual activities.
- Failure to comply with any of the above may preclude my child from participating in further virtual activities during the period of this school closure.