To: DeKalb County School District Families

From: Mrs. Ramona Tyson, Interim Superintendent

Subject: Instructional and Related Services for Students with IEP’s and 504 Plans

Date: March 24, 2020

Due to the serious nature of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) closed schools March 16, 2020 until further notice and instituted Digital Learning Days (DLD) for all students. Teachers are providing students with virtual learning assignments that are content-specific and relevant. It is important that we consider how technologies can be harnessed to provide instructional services to all learners, including students with disabilities and 504 plans. Assignments are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE), what the students are currently learning, and specific goals and objectives outlined in Individual Education Programs (IEPs). All teachers will continue to implement the Section 504 accommodation plan when applicable. Students may complete assignments virtually and/or be provided with a hard copy, which can be submitted once schools re-open. 

The District is not providing in-person instruction for students as a safety precaution. All teachers and related service providers are working diligently to ensure that virtual learning activities are accessible for students. In addition to the virtual learning assignments in VERGE, please see below for examples of alternative instructional learning modes that may provide greater access for students where appropriate:

  • Hard copy of virtual learning assignments provided to students and/or parents
  • Instructional telephone calls with students and/or parents to discuss, review, and clarify assignments/tasks
  • Instruction and tutoring by phone or the Internet
  • Daily checks via email or phone
  • Shortened assignments to ensure greater access to tasks
  • Extended time to complete assignments

Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the teacher/case manager via email for concerns regarding individual student supports. In the event students are not able to access instructional tasks through the varied learning modes to the greatest extent possible, IEP and 504 teams will be prepared to convene when normal school activities resume to discuss individual student needs and next steps.

Special Education and Section 504 meetings will continue. We are currently preparing, so staff and parents/guardians can meaningfully participate via phone or video conferencing. Special Education and 504 teams will collaborate to schedule meetings.

The Department of Exceptional Education will continue to review federal and state guidance as updated to ensure that we continue to provide the required services consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students and staff. We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.

Continue to check the DCSD website for updates. Again, we thank you for your continued support of the DeKalb County School District.