March 31, 2020
To Our Families of Students with Disabilities,
Due to the unprecedented time of school closure due to COVID-19, the Special Education family wishes to convey information and hopefully answer some questions regarding your child’s education. Please know we are here for you. We understand this is an extremely difficult time for families, and much responsibility has been placed on parent’s shoulders to continue with daily schedules and educational activities. We appreciate so much our relationship with you and want you all to know we are here to help.
I know many of you have reached out to your child’s Special Education Teacher, and I am so happy that you have. Our Special Education Teachers are valuable resources for finding activities and getting ideas for children’s learning. I know many of them have been helpful to you in connecting you with resources, and I would like to extend my thanks to all of them for the love they continue to show their students. Special Education Teachers are awesome!
The Tennessee Department of Education has released an Education Toolkit that is full of valuable resources. Our district has released a letter with the website link and many of the free resources it contains. Please use these resources as you work with your children at home. If we can help support you with any ideas please reach out. I am primarily working from home so email is the best way to contact me. My email is email@example.com. Please continue to use your teachers as resources as well – they are great ones!
As far as required special education meetings, evaluations, etc.; there is still a number of questions and uncertainty there. The guidance we have received is as follows:
Annual IEP Meetings: many students will need their IEPs updated in order to prevent them from expiring. We have been encouraged to hold as many meetings by phone as possible. If your child’s IEP will be expiring soon you may receive a phone call to see if it would be possible to hold the meeting by phone. We understand this is not an ideal situation, but it can bridge the gap to keep an IEP in place until in-person meetings are able to occur.
Initial Evaluations: Initial evaluations are referring to those students that have just been referred to the special education program and have not been made eligible yet. For these evaluations we typically have 60 days to complete, however with the current situation this has been extended to 90 days. Our hope is this timeline extension will allow us to complete most of these evaluations once we are able to return to work. We have been encouraged not to hold any in-person evaluations at this time. These will be completed as quickly as possible once social contact rules have been relaxed. Parents will be contacted by Sped Teachers before any decisions or discussions surrounding evaluation take place.
Re-evaluations: All students with disabilities are re-evaluated every 3 years to determine if eligibility should continue or to see if there is evidence further assessment is needed. The IEP team can discuss by phone if further assessment is needed or if eligibility can continue based on information already obtained by the IEP team. Parents will be contacted by Sped Teachers before any decisions or discussions surrounding re-evaluation take place. If decisions are made by phone, the Special Education Teacher will document this and obtain signatures once contact is permissible.
Compensatory Services: Compensatory services refer to student services that are missed due to school closures or other circumstances. Basically, compensatory services means to “make up” for lost services if it is needed. Each student’s IEP team will need to meet to discuss compensatory services once school returns. These are individual decisions that will be made by each IEP team. Parents will be included in any meetings and discussions regarding the need for compensatory services.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you have. These are difficult times for us to navigate, but we will do so together. Please tell your children we miss seeing them & hope they are continuing to read and work at home!
Ashley Carroll, Special Education Supervisor Eric Lomax, Director of Schools
Perry County Schools Eric Lomax, Director
Department of Special Education
57 Squirrel Hollow Drive, Linden, TN 37096
Ashley Carroll, Supervisor
931-589-2102 931-589-5110 fax
June 7, 2016
CHILD FIND SERVICES
The Perry County Schools’ Special Education Program serves eligible children ages 3 through 21 that reside within the county regardless of what school you choose to attend. It is the responsibility of the LEA (local education agency) to identify, locate, and evaluate children who are in need of special education and related services. Each year a Child Find Screening is provided free of charge, however a referral may be made at any time. This applies to all residents of Perry County whether in public, private or home school. If you have or know of children who may be eligible for these services, please contact Ashley Carroll at the Perry County Board of Education, 931-589-2102.