Special Education@Home

April 2, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope you and your family are doing well during this challenging time. COVID-19 restrictions have placed school districts in the unprecedented situation of instituting extended periods of school closure. 
Beginning April 6, 2020, the Mt. Lebanon School District will begin the implementation of School at Home (S@H) instruction with all of our students in order to provide continuity of educational services during the school closure.  The School District will continue to provide your child with a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) providing special education services to the maximum extent feasible during this time.  Students with disabilities will also have access to instructional materials and specially designed instruction remotely. Related Services, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language will continue to be provided remotely as well. Examples of platforms that may be used to provide specially designed instruction and related services remotely include Google Chat, Google Meet, or Zoom (video conferencing), phone calls, Dashboard, email, worksheets, YouTube videos, and/or consultation or planning with parents to monitor progress. Your child’s special education teacher and related service providers will be in contact to discuss how instructional materials and services will be provided to your child. 
During group services through an online platform, it is not always possible to ensure student privacy. During virtual group instruction, students' names and faces may appear on a screen. Further, the virtual group instruction format could provide opportunities for individuals in other students’ households to observe the therapy sessions.  As a reminder, the district will not share health and educational information with third parties without written parental consent.  This letter serves to notify our families of the district’s good faith effort to provide therapies and opportunities for socialization during this unique time. 
The district plans to move forward with providing group virtual instruction, when appropriate, unless the district receives written notification of a family’s desire to opt out due to privacy concerns.  By allowing your child to participate in group virtual instruction you agree and understand that your child may be viewed by others in the course of the delivery of services.  If you do not consent, please contact me via email at hdoyle@mtlsd.net.
Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. As additional information becomes available, we will keep you updated. If you have any concerns about your ability to access online programming or virtual services, please contact your child’s special education teacher to discuss resources and/or alternatives for the implementation of your child’s program. Please feel free to contact me at any time via email at hdoyle@mtlsd.net.
Warmest Regards,
Heather S. Doyle, Ph.D, NCSP
Director of Special Education
Mt. Lebanon School District