The Mason Public Schools Special Education Department has been in discussion and in the planning stages surrounding the concept of in-person instruction for special education students. Our first priority is the safety and health of our students and staff and that has been a large part of our discussion and planning. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) typically provides guidance to districts and special education departments when there are significant changes. COVID-19 is one of those times when significant changes are needed. MDE alerted us of ‘upcoming guidance” the end of the first week of August. This guidance document will provide important details regarding how MDE expects us to deliver special education programs and services in light of COVID-19. At that time, districts were provided an abbreviated version of changes to be made and since then we have been waiting for more information. Although we cannot finalize any plans until we are able to align our plans to this guidance, we have used this time to put preliminary plans in place.
We feel it is important to move forward with what we do know. Our goal is for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), who receive the majority of their instruction in a special education classroom and those who are not on a path to earn a diploma, will be considered by the team for a mixed delivery method of in-person and remote instruction.
We will start the year in a remote setting for all students while teachers reach out to students who receive the majority of their instruction in a special education classroom and those who are not on a path to earn a diploma to create their Contingency Learning Plan and begin working on in-person needs. We need to ensure we are following all the requirements in the Return to School Roadmap as we want a safe environment for all those who enter our buildings.
Students who have an IEP, are on a diploma track and spend the majority of their instructional time in general education likely will continue to receive special education services remotely. Students will have access to their resource teachers and other support staff and have breakout sessions to receive extra support as identified in their IEP. Case managers will be reaching out to families once school begins to discuss any immediate needs or concerns and any IEP updates or Contingency Learning Plans as needed.
As we finalize our plans, aligned with MDE, we will continue to communicate with all of you. In the meantime, we hope the FAQs below will assist in answering some of your questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your special education case manager if you have any questions.
Special Education Director
Mason Public Schools
To see specific FAQs regarding special education programs, visit the District's FAQ page.