The New York State Education Department recognizes the unprecedented challenges school districts face in ensuring students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) during this extreme health and safety crisis. As Statewide school closures continue during the Coronavirus outbreak, the Department remains committed to providing ongoing, updated guidance to parents, families, and school district staff on the provision of services to students with disabilities. This memorandum is a supplement to the March 27, 2020 guidance on the Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities During Statewide School Closures Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State and Question and Answer Document.
During school closures due to the Coronavirus outbreak, students with disabilities, including English language learners with disabilities, must be provided continuity of learning and, to the greatest extent possible, the special education and related services identified in the student’s individualized education program (IEP). While special education programs and services will not be able to be provided in the same manner during school closures, school districts and approved programs serving students with disabilities must collaborate with parents and families to ensure that students continue to be provided FAPE consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students and their service providers.
The Department’s Office of Special Education will continue to provide updated guidance to the field. We also recommend that you frequently check the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Novel Coronavirus webpage and NYSED’s COVID-19 website for updates.