Fairfax County Public Schools Recovery Services: Not Ready, Needing Reminders, and “We Are Not Responsible” Are Repeat Themes

2.8.21: Article first published. 3.2.23: Article republished with introduction in italics below.  Past really is precedent. Two years ago, I wrote the article below, yet the headline could be used today. One would just need to add compensatory education to the headline and article below to bring it up to date. In Spring 2022, when Office for Civil Rights released its findings on Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), it was clear FCPS would face the same findings, given it had engaged in many of the same noncompliant actions. Instead of preparing for OCR to release its findings on it, to include having training programs, and plans to address the noncompliance underway, FCPS waited. After OCR’s 11.30.22 release of its findings on FCPS, it was clear FCPS wasn’t prepared. Its staff trainings paint a picture of a county caught unprepared again, with thousands of students waiting, again, to have their unique needs addressed. Some of the videos below were later provided to OCR for its investigation into FCPS. The theme: FCPS caught unprepared again. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) did not have a finalized recovery services in place at the start of the 2020-21 school year. FCPS stated that it needed to collect nine weeks of data on students in advance of recovery services. A look at the timeline of events shared below indicates FCPS needed many of those weeks to 1) finalize its plan for addressing recovery services and 2) provide training related to recovery services. This is crystal clear in recorded videos of special education-related meetings with principals, special education lead teachers, and special education department chair heads, which took place between 8.10.20 and 2.2.21. Video clips from these meetings, and transcripts for the clips, appear in the article below.

Videos & Transcripts

August 10, 2020

Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction / Elementary School

Partial Transcript from 8.10.20 Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction, Elementary:
Jane Strong (starting at about the 27:16 mark): Okay, so next. I want to spend a couple minutes on this slide. So you note there that there is a document linked. It is a Google document. It is from the Virginia Department of Education. So it is their document called the COVID-19 recovery services. And this document is a good read. It does give everybody in the state of Virginia some really good guidance and information about the fact that you may have parents who believe their student should get makeup services or compensatory services. There may be advocates and attorneys, you know, saying alleging that. So this guidance really clearly helps us and says that the the consideration of any sort of recovery service should occur after the student has participated in instruction during the first nine weeks of school. So notice that the the term is recovery service, so recovery instead of compensatory. And the reason for that is that compensatory service is a legal term and it’s done through legal proceedings when a school has failed to provide a free appropriate public education to a student. So it is an award of services. And some of you know that occasionally, we offer compensatory services, either through an IEP or through some other dispute resolution process. What we’re saying right now is we’re not deciding whether or not a student should have recovery services until and if there’s instruction that happens. And then through informal assessment, students and parents come together and decide that there is regression or there are instructional gaps that may qualify a student for COVID-19 recovery services. So I think it would be very helpful for you to take a quick look at the VDOE guidance document. If you go to the last half. It’s very well marked. How does an IEP team look at recovery services? We’re going to be working on of course the PSLs knowing how to guide you on this, but first we’re trying to get school started with amendments to IEPs for virtual service. But, then we need to turn our sights to what students should have a recovery service? And and how do we determine that? And then how do we document that? So there’s some of those procedures, we are still in the development phase of. So you may have questions about that. I’ll be happy to try to answer. But that’s the nutshell about recovery services. I think there might be one more slide. There you go.
Video Clip from 8.10.20 Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction, Elementary:

Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction / Middle and High School

from 8.10.20 Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction, Middle and High School
Jane Strong (starting at about the 24:52 mark): So this slide I want to spend just a few minutes talking about last week well, two weeks ago now The Virginia Department of Education issued a guidance document. It’s the VDOE guidance on recovery services document you see there, it’s linked to the Google site where we have saved it. I recommend that you take a look, your department chairs, take a look. What this does, it is very, very helpful telling all schools in Virginia, how you should approach the concept of whether or not a student needs compensatory service. So, VDOE actually came up with the term instead of saying compensatory, you should be using the term recovery. And the reason for that is that compensatory is really a legal term. It’s an award done through a legal process, when a school has failed to provide a free appropriate public education through some fault. You know, we didn’t provide everything in an IEP. And many of you may know that we occasionally do enter into compensatory services with with parents, either through legal process or through an IEP. But for the recovery of COVID-19. We are not responsible for the fact that there’s a pandemic that caused the governor to shut down school, so we’re not using the term compensatory. However, we will use and consider whether or not the student needs recovery services. So the VDOE has helped us by saying you should you can’t decide whether or not recovery services are needed now. So what should happen is we amend IEPs, we get students into instruction in school virtually for this first nine weeks. And while teachers are instructing their students with disabilities, they are looking informally at assessing for gaps or regression. With that data. Later on in the fall, we will be looking for determining whether or not there are students who qualify for recovery services. Right now we’re focused on the return to school and amending IEPs and getting instruction started in a strong start for our students. We’re not addressing the recovery services yet. Our office will be working to complete procedures for how that will look. But first things first is getting started with school and amendments. So I know they have some thoughts and questions about that. But I’m going to turn things over for now to Mike, and then we can answer questions after he’s ready.
Video Clip from 8.10.20 Reopening Schools Plan: Special Education Instruction, Middle and High School:

September 14, 2020

Special Education Principal Updates / Elementary School Principals

Partial Transcript from 9.14.20 Special Education Elementary Principals Update:
Jane Strong (starting at about the 15:57 mark): So the next thing I want, whoops, too fast there. So um, the next topic is somewhat of a review, but a little bit of an update with some new themes here for you for what to do when you have a parent who is very unhappy with the virtual service for their student with a disability. You know, some parents have advocates or attorneys who use the word compensatory service that you owe us compensatory services or what my child missed, from spring or even from now. And the Virginia Department of Education came out with a document at the end of July, and we shared that link with you a while back, that goes over how compensatory services are not applicable in this period of an emergency COVID19 shut down. Instead, they coined the term recovery service. So taking that document, we we have had some of my team look at a guidance document, and that is almost ready to be rolled out. So in the guidance document, really the biggest advice right now is for your special education teachers to be collecting and maintaining good documentation on their students for the purpose of potential consideration of recovery services. One of the things that the VDOE document recommends is that your teachers look back in the file to last year pre-COVID. Take a look at what was the baseline of IEP goals or any other tools that are in the file? Any other evaluative information that you have pre-COVID? And then what data do you have from the voluntary service that was the continuity services in spring? And then, I didn’t put on the slide, but you know, if a student participated in ESY, also that’s helpful data. And then right now you’re in your second week of school, first day of the second week, but so your teachers are hopefully getting into a rhythm where they can work with your students and collect new data. So using any information that you have for your students in their general education class is also helpful. So I did touch base with Bettrys, about what’s going on with our general ed colleagues, and teachers and students. And so all of the things that students with disabilities can participate in, for instance, if they participate in the general curriculum. So the horizon mini assessments or curriculum-embedded assessments that general education teachers are using within those classes, those things are things that you should help your special ed department to understand about and make sure there’s some cross collaboration between general ed and special ed like you always do. But even more important now as data is being, you know, gathered, collected, and analyzed for whether or not a student is experiencing a great number of instruction gaps, or if they’re, you know, seemingly going to be able to catch quickly. So our guidance document on this topic is coming very soon. We will be discussing a version of it with the high school department chairs next week, and we expect that there are some charts and some things that will make this as clear as we possibly can, knowing that these are going to be tough decisions and tough discussions with parents. As always, we do want to solicit some input from some of you, your principal association representatives have been extremely helpful thus far with some of our guidance. Or anybody who’s not a part of the that group, but would like to give us some input into our guidance for this topic of recovery service, please reach out to Debbie Lorenzo or myself, because we would like to, you know, schedule time to talk with anybody who has time to give us their input. It’s always always helpful to get the building administrator input and that lens on any of the documents that we create. So I’m going to pause for a moment and see Debbie Lorenzo joined the call and she’s been primarily leading the dot the document creation, for this recovery service guidance. So, Debbie, is there anything you want to add? I think you’re on the call? Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 21:10 mark): Yeah. I am. No, I think you’ve covered it all. We’ll give preliminary to the department chairs first, because we meet with them on the 21st. And then lead and elementary lead teachers on the October 12. But by them, we’re hoping to have the document out, and hopefully a recording done so that we can have them, you know, listen to the recording with their PSL as well as with their teachers. So, but yes, please reach out if you would like to provide some input and take a look at the documents. I’m happy to share the link and just, you know, meet with you or we’ve been meeting and small little Google in groups in Google, which has been really helpful. Great. Thank you. Okay, so in terms of, you know, updates. That’s all we have today, both from the instruction and procedural, but we have plenty of time to try and answer any questions that you have.
Video clip from 9.14.20 Special Education Elementary Principals Update:

Special Education Principal Updates / Secondary School Principals

Partial Transcript from 9.14.20 Special Education Secondary Principals Update:
Jane Strong (starting at about the 9:36 mark): Alright, so the next thing that is frequently coming up question are the topics for parents who have advocates and attorneys especially, and those even who don’t, but asking your your IEP teams and case managers about what’s going to be done for a student who has missed a great deal of service. Now all children have missed service. But a lot of our special education parents believe that their students is, you know, eligible for a compensatory service. So we we shared with you all previously that the Virginia Department of Education came out with a guidance document on this topic end of July, and we shared it out in August, that says really, compensatory services do not fit the circumstances that we’re in right now with the COVID-19 shutdown of schools. Instead, they coined this phrase that you see called recovery service. And so their recommendation is that school divisions, schools and teachers keep a lot of good documentation and data collected and maintain it on their students for the purpose of considering whether or not a child requires a recovery service. So more is coming on this topic. But what is critical right now, I know it’s only the beginning of the second week of school, but your case managers need to be thinking in terms of collecting any data that was pre-COVID on their student collecting any data that was available from the springtime during the continuity of instruction, collecting any data for any students who attended virtual extended school year. Didn’t put that on the slide, but that one also is important. And then now as you’re in Fall virtual school, there’s a lot that needs to happen to look at the student’s goals and collect as much data as can as the teachers can, so that the IEP team has data with which to make a decision, you should be using all and any informal means of collecting progress monitoring, especially those students who participate in general curriculum, either through a special ed class or a general ed class. So are our colleagues in general education are using curriculum embedded assessments, many assessments, informal and some formal, like the DRA horizons, mini assessments, and all of those things should be used, especially with our students with disabilities, who are participating in the general curriculum. And then for your students who are participating in adaptive curriculum, it’s more about the IEP and the data that can be gleaned from progress on IEP goals. So we have a guidance document in the works with some charts and some information that is being designed to really help you with this, this is complex, it’s not an easy conversation to have. I know you’ve been dealing with it, we’ve been dealing with a lot of parents who are upset and very concerned because their child is not getting any in-person services. Just like we did with our last guidance document, we are about ready to solicit input from the association representatives, so we will reach out to them very soon. And if any of you just have an interest, maybe this is a topic that is coming up in your building, and you would like to give some input to us. Please reach out to Debbie Lorenzo, as she’s been the lead on our development of this guidance document. So I’m going to pause there, um, I want to see if I’ve forgotten anything. Let’s see. I think that’s everything for the recovery service to date. Debbie, do you want to join in and say anything that I might have forgotten? Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 14:02 mark): No, I think you covered it. I think we’re the hopes of want to document this together is that we want hoping to do a recording of it as well so that school teams can use it with their teachers, too as a way as as they review the document with them. They can also listen to the recorded session with a with a procedural support liaison. Great anybody would like to you know, get provide some input, please, like we did with the IEP guidance document. Just reach out to me. Jane Strong (starting at about the 14:29 mark): Great. Thank you.
Video clip from 9.14.20 Special Education Secondary Principals Update:

September 21, 2020

Special Education Principal Updates / Elementary School Principals

Partial Transcript for 9.21.20 Special Education Elementary Principals Update:
Jane Strong (starts at the 00:45 mark): As I welcome those of you that are just joining, we are doing our special education updates today. Most of the updates today are general in nature from the Office of Special Ed instruction. I don’t have a procedural slide for you. But I will just mention that we are finishing up some guidance that we are going to do a recorded training of and put out to all of you all, and your special educators – especially your leads – for how to manage the coming, later in the nine weeks the recovery meeting. So, it’s a recovery document. And I think I may have mentioned it last week also. But we got some really great feedback from some principals last Friday and so we’re incorporating that information and got some great suggestions today already also from some of our department chairs this morning and so we’re working to make sure that the document is helpful and includes information that you all need. There’s still some some more work that we need to do to it, though before we publish it. But I wanted you to know that that is on its way.
Video clip from 9.21.20 Special Education Elementary Principals Update:

Special Education Principal Updates / Secondary School Principals

Partial Transcript for 9.21.20 Special Education Secondary Principals Update:
Jane Strong (starts at @ the 00:00:57 mark): So there was a morning session, and there’s a session going on right now. And there’s a lot of good information being shared out with your chairs. The biggest news from the procedural office is that we are continuing to finalize our guidance around recovery service. I believe we mentioned this last week. We did have some really good input from some of you that are on the chat today. Some high school and some other principals and assistant principals have given us feedback. And so we’re taking a look at that feedback and the draft guidance document will be finalized as soon as we can get the go ahead from the powers that be both in the division council office and our new assistant superintendent needs to have an opportunity to take a look. Our plan is to do a recorded training so that you and your your department chairs will be able to turn that around to your special education staff, you know, efficiently and so that everybody understands what is going on with the recovery service. It’s it’s a complex situation. And today, the updates that are being shared out with chairs is mostly the advice and the direction for what your teachers should be doing right now, which is basically keeping really good data on how the students are doing. And so there’s, you know, a lot of information about that right now that your chairs are hearing today and then as soon as possible we’re going to get the final guidance out about how to do meetings and to answer parent questions about recovery services. There’s a lot of detail going into that.
Video Clip for 9.21.20 Special Education Secondary Principals Update:

Special Education Department Chair Meeting

Partial Transcript for 9.21.20 Special Education Department Chair Meeting:
Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:20:00 mark): Okay everyone, let’s- It’s 1:50. So we’re going to come on back. Let me show my video. So the next section that we’re going to be looking at is we’re going to give you a high level overview of the recovery services. We do have a document that’s coming out Angelina is going to present mean she’ll present part of this. So I’m going to spend some time today talking about recovery services and the IEP. We have drafted a document and I’ve asked several groups to review and provide some input on this document. We’ve got principals who just provided input and then we’re where we have the Office of Special Ed instruction, Ellie, Tina, and their teams taking a look at it as well. This information in this document was adapted from the VDOE guidance document that received we received it was called VDOE considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities. I believe it went out, it went out a few weeks ago, and you may have, you may have the link to it. It’s like a 19-page document. So what we’ve done as we’ve condensed all that information into a few, I think it’s six pages now or five pages, with appendices. It’ll include the definition of the services, recovery services, a chart that will direct you to the data sources you will need and what you’ll use for making IEP decisions, some FAQ’s to apply and sample PWN, and a flowchart that takes you through some options for IEPs, and a VENN diagram that does a little comparison between recovery and compensatory services. And the link to the VDOE document it’s found in this in the notes section that Ellie has put together for us today, so if you want to go back and look at it, refresh your memory that is a document. And like I said we had several, about four administrators on Friday look at the document, and we’re hoping to finalize it and once we do finalize it, we will do a recorded session, a recorded training like we did with the IEP guidance document. So that’ll be coming soon. And that recorded training will help you work through the document with your school teams as you’re looking at it and reading through it. So I’m going to just highlight some of the, you know, as I said, it’s just an overview of the information pertaining to recovery services that will help you as you begin conversations with your school teams. And just about, I guess, about an hour ago, the group, there was a group that presented on data collection, and some of this information, Angelina’s going to go through with you. A lot of it’s similar information that you’re going to be able to use when you’re making decisions for recovery services. So the next slides that we’ll go through, we’ll look at who, who should receive recovery services and the time frame in the data that you’re going to be collecting. So this slide here talks about what is recovery services, what are they? They’re are additional services and support to regain lost educational skills. During the development of the implementation of the TLPs, due to current COVID-19 School closure, many students are likely to show some signs of regression or display some gaps in their learning when the schools reopen. In order to try to mitigate this regression, and to close these gaps, we may find that many students with disabilities may need some recovery services. This, this means that COVID recovery services need to be considered for any student. However, it still does not not mean that all special ed students or students with disabilities will require recovery services. It really is going to depend on the data that’s collected across the three timeframes that Angelina will talk about. You can move to the next slide. So as we talk about recovery services, and what whether or not it is needed, we will continue to refer to the importance of data. The data and its analysis will be used by IEP teams to determine whether or not a student requires recovery services or not. We need to remember that prior to determining the need for an amount of recovery services, each IEP team should consider data from a variety of sources. This includes data spanning the continuum of pre-COVID to the return to school. Therefore, IEP teams should use individual student progress data and data about FCPS offerings during COVID closure and upon return to school when considering services. So I’m gonna I’m gonna now turn this over to Angelina, who’s going to talk about the data sources that you’ll be needing to look at as you’re trying to determine in the timeframes whether for recovery services. Angelina Prestipino (starting at about the 1:27:52 mark): Thanks, Debbie. Good afternoon everybody. So as we think about this process, the need to compare data from the several timeframes. We need to compare data from the beginning of school year 19/20 through March, then we need to think about the closure of schools, so March through June, and then again, this return to school, which began just here in September. So let’s go ahead and think about that pre-COVID19 data. And this is going to be, as we said that information from the start of the school year, just as you would every school year, you’re going to begin gathering and looking at data for students, whether it’s formal or informal, prior to closure, you’re gonna establish that baseline and look at students skills and their performance on their IEP goals, as well as their progress on their goals and objectives, the various benchmarks, observations, data from teachers, any therapy supports that students may have been receiving through related services, input from parents and any other folks who may have had direct contact with the student regarding maybe they did screenings or any assessments that was done that were done, any other information that was obtained on the student. Again, this is pre-COVID. Looking at all of that as your baseline data, you may even have some pre-test and post-test data that’s curriculum based in nature, any other relevant factors. And so as we look at some of those possible examples, you know, those IEP progress reports, we might be looking at grades and report cards that we may have had prior to the pre-COVID prior to the COVID shutdown. As we look at some of that data, we ask ourselves some questions around this timeframe. Did the student make progress on their IEP goals and objectives before Governor Northam shut the schools down? If so, what were the student’s baseline measures, right? How do we determine that progress? What were those baseline measures on the IEP goals and objectives? And we we may not, we recognize you may not have those third quarter progress reports data completely as we would have preferred under normal circumstances, but what data do we have? What were we able to ascertain from the data that teachers are able to remember, that they may have had on them that they may have gotten back into buildings to pull together? And then certainly recognize when we don’t have those fourth quarter progress reports. We do understand that. But again, let’s focus on the data that we do have, and think about what was that progress compared to that pre- COVID at that time of the pre-COVID, prior to the shutdown. Then as we think about the quarter, what documentation do we then put together and how do we put this in into the progress looking at the student moving forward? So as we as we just shared, we don’t necessarily have the quantity of the data from third quarter percent, even the quality that we would typically have presented to parents, we certainly don’t have fourth quarter progress reports. But, we do have grades, right, we do have some data sources, we have whatever we have from the pre-closure. And then we do have the data that was collected during the actual closure through that timeframe. Through that third remaining third quarter and into the fourth quarter, you were all asked to make sure that teachers were progress monitoring, on participation in in the distance learning. So the data that we’re going to be looking at through the COVID closure is very similar that pre-COVID data. We’re going to be looking at observations and behavior data, we’re going to be looking at informal screenings and assessments, maybe we have formal data from prior to, any parent input and observations that were made. The only difference we’re going to see here is what if the student attended ESY, then we’ll have that additional piece of data to consider. And certainly, we also understand that student attendance during distance learning becomes a factor that would have been data that was new during the closure. We also know that for many of you, there are going to be students who transitioned from the middle school into the high school or from elementary into middle, that being the case that that may add a layer of challenge as far as how familiar you are with the student, and what data you may have been able to collect. What we recommend in those cases is to reach out to the previous teacher, if possible, the previous school, maybe your colleagues, other department chairs, or lead teachers, and see what data you might be able to find, get that information, come together [inaudible]. Look at your data that you do have clarify it, get all of that in order, and and then be able to proceed forward planning for meetings, which definitely we’ll cover with you in just a little bit here. As you’re going through all of this process, please please keep in mind, we always want to be sure we are holding the information that parents share with us with high value, of course, as we always do, that their input is regarded in this process during the distance learning period. Then as we transition to that, that timeline continuum, as through that school closure, some questions to think about are what were the goals and accommodations and services that we were able to offer in the TLP, in that temporary learning plan? Did the student engage in the distance learning? And if so, do we see progress? Or opportunities that that educational opportunities that we played? Did the student progress in that? Or did we actually see some regression? Were the services and supports offered? Did the student access them? And so sorry, about that everybody. Did the students access them? And to what frequency? What what services? Did they did they access? What services were we able to provide? And were they reasonable in light of the circumstances of the COVID, as well as the student’s individual learning profile? And we want to make sure that we are considering the educational model that was offered to all students. Did the student take advantage of the opportunity? Were parents refusing to send their child? Were that were the students accessible to us in order for us to provide the services and how was that core content and specialized instruction delivered? Did we make did we monitor that student’s performance? What was that student’s performance like during that closure? As you’re reporting out the data, look at that participation, the frequency, the level to which the student was engaged, how much work did they get done? Did they make progress on their IEP goals? Then any grades that weren’t able to get any input that were able to get. And again, again, please remember, we want to get that parent input and consider it very seriously. And now we look at the information in the present. First quarter, as our students have returned to us, we want to gather this new information. Again, as I said, just as we would in the beginning of any school year, we want to determine does the student requires some extensive review? Or are they just right, you know, right in there, and that average space that kids tend to forget things and we provide some instruction and they’re right back on track? Or do the students require that more extensive review in order to show us previously learned skills and seeing consistent in in their performance or are we seeing inconsistency in their performance? Are they able to show us some of the skills or all of the skills that were even during that pre-COVID closure from the beginning of last year? Not all of that data? Again, looking at the similar data points, we want to look at whatever grades we might have, what progress they made on their goals, any assessments, benchmark assessments, curriculum-based assessments that we may have those informal assessments, perhaps exit tickets, surveys, you know, Kahoots, as was mentioned earlier, some shared with us some of those ideas on that data collection tests, certainly, whether they’re unit tests, or quizzes, and reading inventories or screenings, observations, teachers or related service providers. And again, thinking about if the student went to ESY? What about that ESY data? What did that tell us? And as we think about all of these things, you know, what were the students goals? What are the ways I’m keeping that data, which was shared with us earlier today? How am I assessing the kids? And am I seeing gaps? And if I’m seeing gaps, where am I seeing them? How am I addressing them? As we’re thinking about that return to school, how does the student perform after the school year has started? So let’s give ourselves some time. And thinking about all of that data, what is the local assessment data telling us what? How the student is performing vis-à-vis his or her peers? How was the rate of their learning? Is it taking them a much longer period of time, given our educational model being virtual at this time. Looking at the social emotional issues of student may be presenting that might be impacting their learning. Again, we really want to make sure we’re focusing on the whole child. Is the student not experiencing or I’m sorry, is the students experiencing some behaviors that no one really noticed in our other two data collection timeframes, meaning the beginning of last school year up through March, and/or during the ritual learning the distance learning timeframe, or maybe not even during ESY, but now we’re seeing some new behaviors that may be having social emotional connection. So really want to be thinking about that. We know that this is a lot of information, but we really just wanted to give you an opportunity to hear it right now and sort of digest it, start processing it as you’re supporting your teachers with these conversations and the data collection through these coming weeks. Please know that you are always welcome to reach out to those of us in the procedural support office, your PSLs, the due process and eligibility team, clinical teams in your schools, related service providers, and certainly the Office of Special Education instructions, those team members to support you at any clarifying information you might need to answer any questions to the best of our ability that we can. So Debbie is now going to take you through some important suggestions as you get together to have those really significant conversation with each other as colleagues as well as with parents. Debbie Lorenzo: Okay, so I’m going to, thank you Angelina. Yeah. Ok. Hold on. I don’t know you get I am getting a weird sound on my end. Hold on. Let me try something. Unknown Speaker: I think it should work now. Debbie Lorenzo: Okay. All right. I was like, it sounded like a martian was coming in. Okay, so IEP meetings, IEP teams, again, as Angelina said, it is a lot of information that we’re giving you so we don’t expect you to leave here and and walk away and in understand how to do this. There is a dot that document is coming out which is going to help support the conversations. So the slide that I have up, it’s the information regarding the IEP team in meetings. It is important to note that this the closure of school to the COVID is not a normal school break, and this should be taken into consideration when considering a reasonable time standard for recoupment. Typically all students need about six to eight weeks to recoup skills when they’ve had breaks in school. Students with disabilities may require more than the six to eight weeks to recoup this skills based on the COVID school closure. The determination of COVID Recovery Services is made by the IEP team after careful review of student performance and data including pre-COVID closures student participation and performance during COVID closure and performance upon return to school as Angelina just explained to you in the earlier slides. What we are recommending is that you schedule meetings after the data has been collected about seven to nine weeks before going to IEP, however, you can reconvene the IEP team as stated above, if parents make a request, or school staff are aware of the following: a lack of a lack of expected progress toward annual goals and in the general ed curriculum, the collection of student data to inform decision making for COVID recovery services, and the results of any reevaluation conducted information about the child shared by the parent that needs to be addressed, or students anticipated need for COVID recovery services. Again, you do not you do not need to wait for the seven to nine weeks have passed to reconvene as an IEP team. If you believe your teachers come to you case managers, a parent and you want to reconvene that meeting because you really believe you’ll have enough information right now or in the next coming weeks to make that determination, you can move ahead, you don’t need to wait for the seven to nine week time period. Okay, so what to consider for a parent makes a request for COVID-19 recovery services. So what do we do now, we can hold a meeting, or we can decide that we are not going to hold a meeting. So when a parent makes a request for the to discuss COVID recovery services, this must be treated as a request for an IEP meeting. So when you’re responding to a Parent Request, what you want to do is acknowledge that request, you want to acknowledge the receipt of that communication, then you should do the following. You’re going to communicate clearly to the parent the amount and types of data required to address COVID recovery services during the conversation about the need for an IEP meeting. So for example, Angelina talked to you about pre COVID information, COVID closure information and return to school information, so you would share that with the parent. In order to make an informed consent, we really need to make sure we’ve got all this information. And then what you want to do next is you want to make sure that you’re documenting that information on the parent communication log, that conversation that you had, you want to make sure that’s on that log. After you communicate the data required to make a decision to the parent, the school team has a choice. They can either hold the meeting to hear the parents request, parents make a request, really think my child requires recovery services, you can you can just open up a meeting listen to the parent’s request, you do not need to make a decision if you’re not sure at that meeting, that you have enough data to make a decision as to yes or no. You can table it after the parents have discussed and say to them that you’re going to continue to collect more data. Or you can talk with the parent in the conversation prior to setting up a meeting and say, you know, we still don’t have enough enough data available to make a decision. So we’d like to the parent agrees to scheduling a meeting in the future when sufficient data is available, that is fine. But you will need clear you will need to document this clearly in a prior written notice. We have one sample of a prior written notice which we’re going to be placing in the document, but when were we actually refusing to meet and that’s the next thing I’m going to talk to you about so this is going to do a prior notice if you you all both agree still that you’re going to wait parents willing to wait. We’re willing to wait as FCPS staff members. However, if you get a request to discuss recovery services from a parent, and the school team is not comfortable holding a meeting yet because you do not have the data, you can refuse the meeting. You can decline the meeting with the parent however, you will need to write up you need to put together a pw and a stand-alone PWN and you’ll need to clearly document in that pw n the reasons for the refusal the justification, the need to assess student progress, and that is a sample that we’re going to place in the, the doc appendices of the document that we’re putting together that’s still in draft. So that’ll give you a little bit of ideas of what language to use. And of course, you can reach out to your PSL, reach out to one of us, and we’ll help you with that documentation if that should be the case for your school. Okay, so the next slide there in in the document that we’ve drafted, we have a flowchart that we’ve developed to give you some on some scenarios of what you should do when you’re holding an IEP meeting. Scenario one, scenario two, scenario three, and four, just follow you, you would follow those that flowchart and they would take you through the process, not going to go through in depth of the full chart as we’re, as I said, it’s still in draft, and we’re making some tweaks and changes to it. But there will be a flowchart in the guidance document for you to use, and for your and to help support the conversations with your case manager. But if I haven’t said earlier, one of the most important things, and I don’t think I’m not sure if Angelina may have mentioned it, but when we are holding our IEP meetings, the importance of the staffing in trying to, staffings ahead of time, even before you decide to meet, it’s just getting together and starting to look together as a team at some of the data that you have. Depending on the student needs. Maybe you just take a couple of students at a time but start taking a look at what is the data saying in regards to IEP progress, grades and all that other information. So this slide is a slide. It’s about compensatory services. We’ve heard from some of the school teams that parents have referred to the recovery services or have asked for compensatory services. So in the appendix section of the document, we’ve also included and we’re still updating some of the information, a Venn diagram that outlines what makes compensatory recovery recovery services different and what makes them similar. And we have discussed in previous slides recovery service, we’ve discussed a lot of the components of recovery services in the previous slide. So what but what makes them different from compensatory services? When we think when we’re discussing compensatory services, school teams will use the same data to make the decisions for recovery. However, the reasons for providing compensatory services involves a denial of FAPE and or a failure by FCPS FCPS to provide the student with the services and supports outlined in their IEP, so very different from recovery services. If the parent continues to believe this is compensatory services, let them know the recovery services are similar try to work through that kind of describe what recovery services are. When we are looking at recovery services, we are considering the services due to the COVID pandemic school closure and not an end and not a denial of FAPE. So that’s really important to remember. Ultimately, FCPS needs to make a proposal either way, whether we whether it’s recovery services or compensatory services, we need to clearly document in the IEP and the PWN whether or not we agree to or we agree to refuse either one and and then and then document that in the PWN. In either case, the parent still has the right to their dispute resolution, due dispute resolution options if they don’t agree with the FCPS proposal. So either way that’s not going to go away. They still have that option. So I know this is a lot of information that Angelina and I have given you, but we wanted to give you an overview because we do we we do understand that you have been getting a lot of questions from parents, parents have been requesting or requesting to discuss recovery services and we just wanted to give you some information to work with while we’re putting together this document that’ll go out and we’ll hopefully send it out within the next week or so, with the recorded training if we can. We’ll try to do that as quickly as we can. But so wanted to give you a little bit of an overview. Do you have any questions? So I will ask Dawn or Jennifer if there’s any questions for Angela or I. Unknown Speakers/Crosstalk: I actually actually made it. Oh, Sorry, Dawn . Shake it. There is a question coming in right now. Okay. much quieter group than our morning group. Yeah. Unknown Speaker: Is that required to discuss recovery services for all students? If so, what would be the timeline to complete that? Debbie Lorenzo: Okay, so we had said that you can, if you if the teacher, the teacher or teachers believe that the student requires recovery services, or the parent request parent or parents requested, then you must reconvene the IEP to discuss it and I gave you some options you either can reconvene when the parent makes a request, you can reconvene if you feel that you have enough data to support it before that seven to nine weeks. So you can wait that period of time to do that. So it really depends. And we and I think Angelina and I both said that not every student is going to require recovery services, but if we suspect that they may require it we should we really, it’s our obligation to go to IEP and have that discussion. Angelina or Christina, if you want to add anything to that? Angelina Prestipino: Nope, that’s perfectly right, Debbie. Debbie Lorenzo: Okay. Any other questions that have come in? Unknown Speaker: No, at this time, there are no other questions. Debbie Lorenzo: And I know this is a lot to take in all at once. But we we felt the need to just give you at least some information as we are moving into the second or third week of school.
Video Clip from 9.21.20 Special Education Department Chair Meeting: Click here to access video.

September 27, 2020

Partial Transcript for Jane Strong’s 9.27.20 Recovery Services Presentation:
Jane Strong @ 00:05 Good Afternoon. Welcome to recovery services an overview for special education teachers. I am Dr. Jane Strong, Director for the Office of Special Education procedural Support. Jane Strong @ 00:17 Today I will review for you guidance and information about Services for Students with Disabilities. The information contained in this presentation was adapted from the Virginia Department of Education’s guidance document entitled “Considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities”. That document was released a few weeks ago. A link to the VDOE document is included at the end of this presentation, I will be highlighting for you information that will help you and your teachers at your school with conversations around recovery services. Jane Strong @ 00:54 Today’s learning objectives are that special case managers will identify circumstances in which IEP meetings need to be held to consider recovery services and special education teachers will determine the data sources that are needed for COVID recovery decisions, as well as begin collection and organization of data and analysis of the data. More information about how to put recovery services on an IEP if the team decides they’re required will be coming soon in a written guidance document. Jane Strong @ 01:28 So what our recovery services, so recovery services are additional temporary service that’s required required for a student to regain lost skills and fill in gaps, where expected progress was not evident. You should consider recovery for any student whose teachers or parents believes the student requires the consideration of recovery. And important to note that not all students with disabilities will require COVID-19 services. Jane Strong @ 01:58 As we consider the need for recovery service, we must make individualized decisions about the student’s progress in the general education or the aligned curriculum and on the student’s IEP goals. Consideration must also be made as to whether the student regressed or is not able to recoup skills at an expected rate. For students who are accessing the SOLs, teachers need to look at the data and determine if the student is progressing and the general curriculum. For students who are accessing the Virginia alternate assessment, teachers will need to look at the data related to the aligned standards of learning and whether or not the student is making expected progress. The need for COVID recovery services is not limited to academics only. The threat of COVID-19 long term effects of social distancing and prolonged disruption of the school routine may create significant stress and impacts students well being. This is particularly important as a consideration for students with disabilities because they may be more likely to experience challenges in adapting to the many changes brought on by COVID-19 school closure. Professionals working with students with disabilities need to consider the students social-emotional needs as well as the impact that the student’s well being may have on their readiness to learn and academic progress. Jane Strong @ 03:20 As we continue to talk about recovery services and whether or not they are needed, we will continue to refer to the importance of data. The data and its analysis will be used by IEP teams to determine whether or not a student requires recovery services. We need to remember that prior to determining the need for and the amount of COVID recovery, each IEP team should consider data from a variety of sources. This includes data spanning the continuum of pre-COVID to the return to school. Therefore, IEP team should use individual student progress data, and data about FCPS’ offerings to all students during the COVID closure and upon return to school when considering services. We need to remember that not all students will need recovery and the IEP team will need to determine the amount and type and how it would be scheduled and documented on the IEP. Here are some examples of data points and data sources that teachers and IEP teams will use to consider recovery. Possible data sources are listed but this is not an exhaustive list. In fact, if a parent suggests that they have data from their experiences at home or from any evaluations from private providers, you need to include and consider that info. Jane Strong @ 04:39 As you review the data keep in mind that you will need to compare the data timeframes. School teams should begin with the data for pre COVID-19. This will include information from the start of last school year until the closing of schools in March. You’ll begin by gathering and reviewing data, both informal and formal, from the pre COVID closure to establish that baseline and compare the skills and performance towards IEP goals, and review the progress made on the goals, including how students performed on benchmarks like DRA or iReady, or any curriculum benchmark tests, and observations and data from teachers and related services providers as well as parents. Jane Strong @ 05:27 Some questions are listed here to help your discussions about the pre-COVID timeframe. Did the student make progress on IEP goals and objectives prior to the ordered school building closure period? What were the students baseline measures on his or her IEP goals and objectives prior to the ordered school building closure period and does the IEP team have documentation of the progress the student made during the ordered school closing in the form of progress reports or other information? Jane Strong @ 05:58 Once you’ve gathered the pre-COVID data, now you’ll need to consider the COVID-19 school closure data from the spring. While teachers didn’t have to collect data for the fourth quarter progress reports or provide grades, teachers should have collected at least progress monitoring on the student’s participation during the distance learning. The data examples on the this slide such as student work, observations, and attendance are similar to the pre-COVID data points except in addition, here you have ESY. So what information do you have from any student, uh, summer program or ESP program? Jane Strong @ 06:37 It is recognized that there are some students who transition to your school from either a preschool or elementary or middle, and then to middle and high programs. This may add a la- layer of challenges as you may not be as familiar with the student this year, uh, because you did not have the student last year. In these cases, you should reach out to the previous school and teachers, uh, and get clarification or analysis of any data that they may have. Jane Strong @ 07:07 It’s important to take into account the information that the parent shares with you also and, uh, consider all of the information from the distance learning experience. Here are three COVID-19 school closure questions to be considered: What goals accommodations and services were offered to the student through the temporary learning plan. Next, did the student engage and progress or regress in the educational opportunities that were provided by FCPS? And then next, were special education services and supports offered and di the student access them? Based on what was offered during the school closure were these services and supports reasonable in light of the circumstances? Pay particular attention to bullet two and three as being critical to determine whether the student made progress and why it’s important to consider the educational model that was offered to all students in FCPS last spring, um, and to consider whether the student took advantage of the continuity of learning during the spring. Jane Strong @ 08:16 How was core content instruction and specialized instruction delivered to the student? How was the student’s performance during this closure? You want to make sure to report out on student data regarding participation, work completion grades, and IEP goal progress. As we look at the virtual return to school this fall, school teams are gathering data through the first quarter. The data points may be similar to the pre-COVID and COVID School closure slides we just discussed. However, when you are collecting the data now, you will be considering whether they- the student requires extensive review to demonstrate previously captured or learned skills. Jane Strong @ 08:59 Do they demonstrate any inconsistencies in performance? Do they demonstrate previously mastered or partially required skills presented during the pre-COVID closure? So in other words, have they- Are they able to do what they were able to do last year or not? And some students may not be able to and some students may be commensurate with where you expect or they may have progressed. As you’re looking through this data, remind tha- uh- teachers and IEP teams to ask themselves these questions What are the IEP goals? What were they last year? And for this year, how am I keeping data on this year’s goals? How am I assessing? Am I seeing gaps and if yes, where are the gaps? Jane Strong @ 09:48 Here are questions to consider as the team is reviewing data around academic needs related to return to school: Is the student attending or participating in the instruction offered? Are there barriers to the student’s participation in instruction? An example of a barrier might be, uh, an electronics issue might be an internet issue, it might be that the parent has asked for an adjusted schedule. So all of these things need to be noted. Are the services provided and received consistent with the student’s needs? How is the student performing on local assessment data and on classroom tasks as compared to his or her peers? What is the student’s rate of learning, uh, as you consider the context of the education model and comparing your student with a disability as compared to his or her peers? It is recommended that case managers create a folder of information on each student that includes the answers to these questions, as well as summaries of data. Jane Strong @ 10:53 Questions to consider as the team reviews the data related to social and emotional environmental needs appear on this slide. Does the student have any unique social-emotional issues that may impact their learning? Is the student’s family and community resilient and supportive? Are there strong family structures available to help the student? And does the family have access to essential resources? Jane Strong @ 11:18 The IEP team should consider if the student is accessing instruction currently available. If there are barriers, brainstorm ways to decrease any of the barriers for the student participating and making progress in their IEP. It may be appropriate to revise the IEP and the services if it is can be determined that it’s not appropriate right now. Students should participate in the meeting, uh, depending on age and disability. Jane Strong @ 11:46 Reach out to your, uh, colleagues in related services, in clinical support, to office of special ed instruction, both curriculum resource teachers and specialists, any of us in the office of special ed procedural support such as your PSL, or due process and eligibility, we’re available to assist with looking at the data with clarifying questions and and helping support you as you go through determining, uh, recovery services for your students. Jane Strong @ 12:23 Here are some guidelines for case managers to use when considering whether to hold an IEP meeting: It is recommended that school schedule the meeting after data is collected. So in the seven to nine week timeframe. So we’ve had about, I believe three weeks of school. Uh, so you know you are on your way, hopefully in gathering data. Jane Strong @ 12:47 Um, if you have a parent who is, ah, insistent that an IEP team meeting needs to be held, you have the option of going ahead and scheduling the meeting. You could schedule the meeting now with the IEP invitation letter, but explain to the parent that you still need to gather more data, uh, and the student needs to participate in more instruction before the meeting is held. Jane Strong @ 13:11 Ah, you need to look at the student data and any reevaluation if you have it or any other information on the student’s, uh, access and progress and any anticipated need for COVID recovery services. So there, ah, could be, um, a reason that you need to go ahead and meet, ah, but you can also discuss with the parent that, uh, it is better to make sure that the IEP team meets with the full complement of data available to discuss, ah, regression or recoupment. Jane Strong @ 13:45 If you need to, though you do not need to wait the entire seven to nine weeks to reconvene. Jane Strong @ 13:52 So when is an IEP meeting not needed? If the student is making adequate progress in the general or alternate curriculum, if there’s even documentation of some regression from, ah, the school closure, but the student seems to be on track to master IEP goals and to recoup lost skills, then you don’t need to have a meeting for recovery purpose. If the student, ah, did not demonstrate regression from pre-COVID and through the closure to the fall, possibly due to having received an ESY program, then you wouldn’t need to schedule a recovery meeting. If the student’s regression recoupment and progress with new learning this fall is comparable to other students in the curriculum or in the class, then you might not need to have a recovery meeting. Jane Strong @ 14:41 What should you consider and do if a parent makes a request now? Similarly to what was already said is that you- you should explain that you need time for instruction and data gathering, but acknowledge the receipt this parents request. You know, make sure that they know you’ve heard them. Discuss about the need for data and when you would like to hold a meeting. You can go ahead and schedule the meeting now for a few weeks from now when you can expect to have the data, uh, that the IEP team will need. If that is the case, that you’re scheduling the meeting a few weeks out, go ahead and open up the IEP to send the invitation now and get it on your calendar. Hold the meeting as soon as is feasible or is possible to hear this parent’s request and consider the data you have. If it’s appropriate, and you refuse to have an IEP meeting altogether, because of some of the reasons that we discussed, that there’s no need for a meeting, then you would complete a standalone PWN. And we expect to show an example of how a PW- PWN would be written if this is your situation and we’ll put that into the guidance document and in the appendix. Jane Strong @ 16:03 As always reach out to your DPE and OSPE friends and your PSL if you need assistance with managing parent’s expectations for a recovery meeting. Jane Strong @ 16:18 Here are important guidelines when determining recovery services. Recovery services should not change the student’s least restrictive environment. Now, I will say that again, but also emphasize there may be certain rare circumstances where a student’s LRE might change through an IEP. However, recovery services in general is not about the the placement or least restrictive environment. Recovery services could be and may be provided over an extended period of time. If additional services are needed, they- the services could be provided at an alternative schedule or an alternate schedule after school, before school, during a break, weekends, or next summer. It is important that services not be required to be delivered in only one specific manner. It can be spread out through the course of the year. Jane Strong @ 17:12 Recovery services are not a minute for minute replacement of services not provided during school closure. And we’re going to come back to that concept in the next slide, too. Recovery services are data driven and may not be required for all students, the team will need to agree to the time period required to meet the COVID recovery service proposed, if it is proposed. So, uh, as you get more guidance in the future guidance document and as the next couple weeks happen, we will, um, assist you with how to document the recovery services and, ah, documenting in in the IEP. Jane Strong @ 17:59 Here on this slide, you see a comparison of COVID-19 recovery and compensatory service. Ah, you may have parents who use the word compensatory services in their discussion with you about recovery. Ah, they are not synonyms. They’re not the same thing. Um, rather, as the Virginia Department of Education stated, the COVID-19 forced shutdown of schools, uh, you know, gave rise to the need to have a recovery. So services that students might need to get, uh, back to where they need to be educationally are considered recovery services. Uh, we’ll talk about what compensatory services in just a moment. But you see on the left hand side of your screen, the recovery is, ah, an additional service or services offered due to severe regression, or lack of progress in the general curriculum as compared to peers, or lack of progress in meeting IEP goals as expected during the IEP year, and is not a minute for minute calculation of a makeup service. So compensatory services are a remedy that is a legal remedy under the IDEA when a student has been denied FAPE. If a student has been determined to have been denied a FAPE, the award of compensatory services by FCPS is done sometimes because there may have been, ah, an inability for the school to implement the IEP or a failure to implement the IEP. Jane Strong @ 19:34 The purpose of a compensatory service is to put the student in the same position he or she would have been if the services hadn’t been denied or if FAPE had not been denied. And again, the one overlap between the two programs, compensatory or recovery is that neither of them are a minute for minute situation of makeup services. Here is the link as mentioned at the beginning of the presentation to the VDOE Virginia Department of Education document called “Considerations for Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities”. If you would like to go to that document, you will also get a little more picture about recovery for students without disabilities as well. Jane Strong @ 20:25 If you continue to need assistance or you have any questions, please contact the appropriate office listed here. During our partial telework status that we find ourselves in, you may, ah, have a quicker response time by using email. We have listed phone numbers here also though, because at times there are staff in the offices available to the phone. Um, as always, please go to your procedural support liaison and they generally are best, uh, uh, reached through email. And then also don’t hesitate to reach out to the office of special ed instruction when it comes to the instructional information that you’ve learned. Uh, and also, an email, uh, to them is usually very helpful. Jane Strong @ 21:14 So that concludes our presentation today. Thank you for listening, and more information is coming soon in the form of more guidance for how to document recovery services.
Video Clip from Jane Strong’s 9.27.20 Recovery Services Presentation:

January 25, 2021

Special Education Lead Teacher Meeting

Partial Transcript for 1.25.21 Special Education Lead Teacher Meeting:
Ellen Glaser (starting at @ the 1:27:49 mark): I’ll jump right in there with some information and reminders about recovery services. So I just wanted to kind of put a reminder out there about the continuing for IEP teams to think about recovery services for students. It really is our legal and ethical responsibility to be looking at our students and thinking about whether or not they require recovery services to make progress in their IEP goals. We have heard from several parent groups, that they have concerns that it’s on a parent to bring up the idea of recovery services. So we just wanted to, you know, discuss that a little bit. Recovery services are not compensatory services. Recovery services aren’t that anybody did anything wrong. Recovery services are just something that a child might require because of the pandemic and the situation that we’ve been in with virtual schooling for a lot of students. So recovery services are also not intervention. Um, a lot of school administrators are working on intervention plans right now for students. And, ah, they might be putting together small groups that will be meeting either on a regular basis, um, outside of the school day, like in the mornings, weekends, or evenings, or during the school day. Get- This isn’t not- This is something different than recovery services, so those services would not be documented on the IEP. The recovery services, um, you know, are the services that the school team has looked at, in an IEP meeting, has examined data to see that the student really hasn’t made the amount of progress that they should have made or had been making on their IEP goals because of this, ah, situation. So, they’re, um, all a little bit different. Um, so also under recovery services, some schools are having a hard time with, um, having teachers available for in-person, KTEA testing, and part of that is that we have testers available for schools. So you would be looking at the DP&E intranet site and there’s directions for all of that, um, to get all that information to either be a tester, and also if your school needs a tester. The, um, next part is recovery teachers, we have a group of teachers that are willing to teach recovery hours. It’s always our first, um- We’d always prefer that the a teacher in the building, provide the recovery hours, but we also do have a group of teachers that are willing to provide recovery services to children when their recovery services are documented on their IEP. They’re always going to- The teachers that I have that are always going to be providing those recovery services outside of their contract hours, but that’s not to mean that all recovery services have to happen outside of contract hours. Students can receive recovery hours during the school day and on Mondays. They- Just the teachers just then cannot submit to be paid if it’s during their contract time. So school teams have a lot of flexibility and figuring out what’s gonna work best for a student, ah, when it comes to recovery services. Additionally, um, recovery services can wait until in person instruction resumes. So if the IEP team is feeling that, ah, yes, the child does need recovery services, but it wouldn’t be beneficial to the child to have virtual recovery services, the IEP team conducting meant the conversation and that they do agree that recovery services are going to be needed and they can then wait to actually put the services on the services grid until we know that we can provide those services in person. So you just go through the process that’s listed on the internet page and document everything on the PLOP page and you go back and do an agenda, most likely without a meeting to just get those services onto the services grid, when we are able to do in-person recovery services, if that’s what the IEP team feels is needed for the child. So, um, it’s important when you are putting recovery services on to IEPs or when you are getting testers from DP&E, it’s that you follow the procedures for letting us know what students are being worked with. We have to document that so we know how many teachers we’re going to need and so we can start to kind of estimate. So if I get like 50 emails after this meeting, saying that you have already put recovery services on an IEP, but you’re waiting for in-person instruction, it will just help us planning and paying and processing all of that paperwork. The other reminder is to be just really careful when you’re on the services grid. Six about, ah- We ran a SEASTARS report recently and 60% of the students who have recovery services on the services grid of their IEP, it was just a clerical error they had chose, maybe they meant to chose F or they meant to chose B, but they chose R. So if you could just be really careful. A lot of you guys out there are going to be principal designee in an IEP meeting. If you could just kind of focus in and make sure that people aren’t inadvertently choosing R that would be wonderful. And, um, talking a little bit about adding the recovery services, of course, it is a data- driven process and the decision, the supplemental information is on the internet for you, you know, to help guide teams, but it doesn’t need to be super complicated. If you have a student who is at a DRA 10, but in February, they were at a DRA 16, that would be something that you could- That could be some data that you could use to to decide, you know, the students really having a hard time during that pandemic and maybe we need to strongly consider recovery services for that student. So it’s, um, all sorts of data can be used for making that decision. DRA, iReady. There are a lot of things available for you to make that decision. And it’s just really important that we at DP&E know when you have decided that recovering needs to go into an IEP, that we have that information. Are there any questions about recovery? Go ahead. Unknown Speaker (starting at about the 1:35:00 mark): Yes. So if student- You had mentioned KTEA, and I may have missed it, is there going to be any training in regards to that? I may have just missed what you shared about that. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:35:11 mark): So, um, training for the KTEA. Is there somebody from OSEI that can answer that? Ellie Stack (starting at about the 1:35:11 mark): Oh, yes, this is Ellie Stack. And yes, we are offering training in the KTEA, both for people who were trained before the shutdown, and we’re giving refresher sessions and as well as new training people who are trained. If you are interested or need to attend the training, please contact Tracy Puckett and I’ll put her email or her name in the chat window, and she’ll be able to send you the information. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:35:47 mark): In terms of what DP&E we can offer, is we can help if you don’t have trained testers in your school, we can help find you a tester that can test students outside of contract hours to help you make sure that you’re staying within timelines. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:36:07 mark): Ellen, there are two questions in the chat about recovery services. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:36:13 mark): When impersonal covered services start when their specific cohort came back, or what it started as soon as any student returns? So that’s really going to be an IEP team decision, that it’s perfectly fine for them to start, um, when their group comes back. It- It’s also fine to wait and see how they adjust, it really has to be an individual decision that the IEP team makes with the family. Oh- Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:36:39 mark): Ellen, there’s one before that, it says if a student is struggling with the virtual environment and in need of recovery services, it says I’m confused as to what situation would virtual recovery services be appropriate. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:36:52 mark): So sometimes students, sometimes it is appropriate for kids. They may not be making as quick of progress in the virtual environment, but you know, given a small group and very specialized instruction working on their program, it might be appropriate. That’s why it just has to be a very specific, um, situation, you know, our kids are in school less hours a day, so that could be why, um, recovery, the student would need recovery services to work on their goals to be making progress. There’s a lot of factors that could come into play with that. Okay, so one more. If a student with an IEP is identified- Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:37:35 mark): There’s one more. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:37:36 mark): -for an additional school intervention, could this be used instead of recovery services? Or should students eligible for recovery services not be identified for school intervention groups? So my answer to that would be if the students need the services to make progress in their IEP goals, I would say those services need to be documented on the IEP and need to be serviced through intervention. If there are other needs that students have, or they fit into a group that’s already happening, I think that would be where you would see kids who might be identified into the sort of intervention groups. Is that helpful Karen? Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:38:24 mark): They could be in both. You could have students who are in intervention, and poor and they could also be receiving recovery services. So it’s just going to depend on that student’s needs and, um, where the areas of concerns are. I think the next one, Ellen, is can IAs provide recovery services during the school day or on Mondays? Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:38:51 mark): So we have not had IAs providing recovery services. If, uh, an either writing recovery service, I would just think that it might be a very specific program that they’ve already been trained in and if it was happening on Monday or during the school day, it would still get documented on the IEP, but then that person would then not be sort of wouldn’t be paid for for being outside of their contract hours and there is a whole kind of situation which IAs working outside their contract hours. That is not really going to work for this situation when it comes to finance. So yes, recovery services can be provided during the day. I think I saw Dawn come in what do you think Dawn about IAs providing recovery services? Well, Lourrie, go ahead. Dawn Schaefer (starting at about the 1:39:42 mark): I’m not I’m not sure that’s a great idea in terms of asking them to work outside their their contract day. Um, yeah, I think it’s a supervision issue. Are you thinking about them doing like, I guess whoever asked the question, are you thinking about them doing like, ah, ah, ah, ahm, an EBP that they would normally do during the school day or did you have something else in mind? I’m just trying to clarify a little bit. Unknown Speaker (starting at about the 1:40:21 mark): I’m just as much exploring our options, because we do have is who are trained in evidence-based programs. And so I just wasn’t sure where recovery services would come into that. But I’m, I’m fine with they can’t I just didn’t want to not use a group of people who may have more flexibility in their day than some of our teachers, especially on Mondays. I think. Yeah, I that makes sense. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:40:49 mark): Yeah, I would agree with you, Donna, I think we’ve been saying in our documents that it needs to be a licensed, you know, a teacher. We haven’t put in our documentation to families and stuff that it is an IA. So I think, you know, I think we would have to, you know, all those individual cases would have to come through before we would say it’s an IA, because I think our documentation really does support teachers as the primary. Okay, there’s another one, um, Ellen. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:41:26 mark): If a student is provided recovery services with the service of a specific reading or math program that is also getting this program support during the school day, will the student revisit lessons they previously completed or move ahead in the program during the recovery services? So that’s going to be really individualized. A really individualized decision, you know, does somebody else want to weigh in on that? Debbie, Dawn, Lourrie? Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:41:57 mark): I was going to ask Ellie, because I know that depending on the programs, they may have some, so Ellie, can you, um- So the question is asking about the programs and getting, um, support during the school day for and then revisiting the lessons during recovery? Ellie Stack (starting at about the 1:42:19 mark): I think this is a great question. And it’s funny, you can tell by how we’re asking the thoughts on this. I, I would actually in my mind, because it’s recovery services, I would think we are, uh, moving forward with the program. But I also understand how that can mess up the class grouping, um- Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:42:42 mark): MmmHmmm Ellie Stack (starting at about the 1:42:42 mark): You know, but when I’m thinking about recovery, if it’s to help for the instruction that was missed, or to help bring the student up, um- So I’m not sure- We might want to talk about this further and get clear. But I love I love it when you stump us, um, but I think we might want to just make sure on this and get back to you. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:43:05 mark): Okay, thank you Ellie. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:43:10 mark): Emily? Unknown Speaker (starting at about the 1:43:13 mark): Yeah, um, Is there a specific time limit you were thinking or you guys are thinking for recovery services? So this is supposed to be like an added kind of like support interventions time to obviously recover? Is there a max amount of time to propose or is it just kind of a team decision? Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:43:37 mark): It’s definitely a team- Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:43:40 mark): Oh, go ahead Ellen. Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 1:43:40 mark): Oh, no, you go ahead. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:43:59 mark): Yeah, it definitely is a team decision. So are you talking about meaning? How far out? Can we offer recovery services for meaning in the summer and not now? Or are you just meaning the amount of time like nine weeks versus 12 weeks or so? Unknown Speaker (starting at about the 1:43:59 mark): Yeah. And I guess like the, you know, the time limit, so if it would be like 20 minutes, you know, a day or 30 minutes? And if let’s say the student needs, like we say it needs like an hour a week? Yeah. So never mind, as I’m talking it out loud. I kind of been understanding. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:44:16 mark): No, it’s a good question, because it’s going to depend on the team. And that’s where you can come back after you said, maybe you decided it’s going to be you know, 30 minutes for nine weeks and after you come back after nine weeks, the student is making progress, but still may need more or may need something different. Or after six weeks, the student has made huge gains, and you’re really rethinking as to whether or not he really requires another three weeks. Those are IEP team decisions. So you can come back and extend or shorten if the parent agrees and consents on so and then there we’ve got we got the question about, you know, the need for more than one area. So you’re you’ve got recovery needs and math, you’ve got recovery needs and reading. So you may choose to do reading first and then come back and then revisit math after you worked on or you may work on them simultaneously. It’s really going to depend on that stamina of that student and what that student, you know, some students, another 20 minutes at the end of the school day is all they can do once a week. So it’s really going to depend on the student and the conversation to have at the meeting. If that- Does that help? Unknown Speaker (starting at about the 1:45:31 mark): Yeah, that helps a lot. Thank you. Ellie Stack (starting at about the 1:45:57 mark): So the answer is yes. We are still planning on this group five, coming back. And there in looking at the students to expand on how you define the group, Tara, it’s, it’s not necessarily students who are having difficulty with virtual instruction, we are looking for students who are have it have this intensive support needs. Which, you know, in some cases, it is with the virtual instruction, but there is information available on the special ed hub that helps to define this group. And we can certainly, Tara, you and I can talk separately if you want to talk more. But regarding a group five for a special specially identified students with disabilities, yes, that is still considered a group. Debbie Lorenzo (starting at about the 1:46:15 mark): Thank you, Ellie. So we’re gonna move into our break. We’re just a little bit behind. So we’re gonna take a 10 minute break and then we will come back and we will listen. Ellie will provide us information about that.
Video Clip for 1.25.21 Special Education Lead Teacher Meeting:

February 2, 2021

Special Education Department Chair Meeting

Partial transcript for 2.2.21 Special Education Department Chair Meeting:
Ellen Glaser (starting at about the 2:36:33 mark): So I’m going to talk a little bit about recovery services. Um, just a few reminders. We’ve heard from a couple parent organizations and seen in some SEASTARS reports, um, and they’re just the parent organizations have brought up some concerns that, that they feel like parents are having to bring up recovery services. So, just kind of a little bit of a reminder that it is our responsibility to provide recovery services. Recovery services are not compensatory services. Nobody’s done anything wrong. So when a school team is considering compensatory services, it’s just an important perspective for everyone to come to, um, around the agreement that nothing nothing has gone wrong. This has just been a situation and recovery services is the state of Virginia and FCPS’ is way to help out, ah, the child. So recovery services are also not school intervention. A lot of schools are working on intervention plans where they’re getting kids together for specific groups, ah, for specific lessons. These are not recovery services unless they are documented on the IEP and they’re specifically for the child to make progress in their goals, um, or accessing their specialized curriculum. So it’s just a little bit of a difference between compensatory in- intervention and recovery. The other reminder I’m gonna give is that at DP&E we are also available to help with KTEA testing and testers. We do have people who are willing to test before after school and on weekends to help you all out with your caseloads. So if you have cases in which that would work for, you can access the DP&E intranet page and under the return to school heading, there’s all the information about requesting KTEA testers, and also requesting- Excuse me- recovery teachers. So, ah, we do have a bank of recovery teachers that if you don’t have somebody in your school who would like to provide a student recovery services, we do have a bank of teachers that are available to do that before after school and on weekends. Recovery services don’t have to happen before after school and then weekends. However, they are just- In order for a teacher to be compensated extra, that is when they would happen. But you’re welcome to provide recovery services. All schools are welcome to provide recovery services during the days if they wish. So another few recovery reminder, services reminders, just to report when you are doing recovery service teaching or testing before or after school or on weekends to DP&E and keeping track of all that so it can make sure that all people who do that work get paid correctly. And, um, another reminder is the recovery services go on the grid and with an R after them. So we know V means virtual and F meets face-to-face. R means recovery, and sometimes teams are unintentionally choosing, like LDR services on accident and, um, that has come up a couple times in search reports. And I’ve sent a couple emails, it’s not a huge deal. I know it’s just a clerical error, but a lot of you guys out there are being principal designees, so if you just kind of key into that when you’re on the services grid, that will help people to not have to do IEP addendums to fix those, um, kinds of clerical errors. In terms of recovery services on IEPs, we know that, um, IEPs, this is a data-driven decision and we’ve talked a lot in previous office hours about rate of acquisition, and kind of gone into depth. But also lots of other data can be used, you know, the data from, from the children’s reading programs, from the iReady, from all of the different data points that you have access to. All of those, all of those data points can be used and you can make a decision with, uh, looking at those data points, you don’t necessarily need to every time, uh, calculate the rate of acquisition. And then upon a parental consent for recovery services, if they’re going to happen before or after school or on weekends, or you need a recovery teacher from my bank of recovery teachers, you would just reach out to me and I will help you throughout the whole process and point you in the right direction. Everything is very, ah, detailed on the intranet page, under the return to school for DP&E you’ll find all of the resources that you need there. But I’m also available. Additionally, DP&E specialists are going to be reaching out for pyramid meetings and organizing that if you haven’t already heard they’re organizing it with PSLs, and they’re going to do more in depth, recovery presentation and reminders. And you’ll be have a chance to ask questions there. And of course, you’re welcome to ask questions today in here as well. Debbie Lorenzo: Ellen, can I just jump in for a sec. I just wanted to add, um, that, um, PSL are also going to be working with, um, the school teams to, um, use this their CTs or the department meetings to identify students who may, um, to have to go through the caseload, I should say first, so you could go through your caseload go through all the students, and then really talk through the students to identify a list of students that they believe possibly could require recovery services, and then share those those that information with your administrative team and your PSL. Um, we have a lot- of we’ve been dealing, um, I’m meeting with parent groups SEPTA and the ACSD, who parents have had a lot of concerns about or voice concerns about that they they do believe that not all parents know to reach out, and that all parents may not reach out and what other schools what a school team is doing to, um, propose recovery services and to elicit those conversations. And we have reassured them that in all our documentation, our guidance documents, it clearly states that, um, you know, school teams will reach out when they believe there’s a need for recovery services. Um, parents have that document and we’ve been having a lot of conversations. In some cases, um, school teams and parents have agreed to postpone the conversations because we’re still we’re still in virtual, ah, instruction and we have a you know, groups that we’re in are now back in virtual, and they’re hoping that they’ll be back in soon. Um, and I also this morning mentioned that during the SEPTA meeting on February 16, from seven to eight, we- VDOE he is sending one of their representatives to come and speak about recovery services to the SEPTA group, the parent group, and he will be, ah, Hank Millward will be using the VDOE document that they put together I bet believe we sent that out in August. And that’s the information that we use, and we kind of pared down our information to provide your guidance document. So he’ll be using that when he does that presentation that evening. I believe it’s from seven to eight that evening. So just you know, just if you get a lot of questions from parents or just as they are having they’re doing presentations myself, Dawn, and Jane Strong have been involved in evening meetings where we’ve done presentations on recovery, so you may see more and more parents asking questions or calling or just inquiring about it. Ellen was there- This morning there was a question about, um, if the teacher were doing, um, holding recovery services in the in the afternoon, and she had a group of students and she had students with multiple needs, and she felt that there was a need to have instructional assistant also support? How would that, um, you know, what do they do? And I had for a check question from Ellen. Ellen, you did you, ah- Were you able to find out any information on that or was still checking? Ellen Glaser: We are still checking on that one. Debbie Lorenzo: Okay. So in case that does come up, because we are, you know, we’ve discussed it with groups and we’ve said, you don’t have to do one on one, it could be groups, as you have more students with, you know, a variety of needs. Um, you may, you know, that may come up that we may need additional support for the teacher as she’s going, as she’s supporting groups. Let us know, and we will try to figure out that question, but that’s the first time we got that question, um, so far, so I thought I’d bring it up in this group. Um, are there any other questions on recovery. We’re going to break you out in groups, so we can stay, we can stay, we’re gonna stay in the main room and we will break you out into groups, um, so if you want to, ah- If your PSL is here, and you want to go into one of your region groups, the breakout rooms in region one, two, three, and five will be the region group. So if you’re region one, you would go to region, breakout room one, if you want to be fight off to go through documents, and just have quiet time, you would go to the breakout room six. And the main room is Breakout Room seven, which is a quick question-and-answer room. Or if you have any comments, and I’m going to allow I’m going to put on check the switch so that you can go in between rooms, if you want to go to your region room first and then come back. So I will start that. I will start that right- So we’re gonna stay in the main room. Um, the presenters that are here, in case you have any questions. Um, this week, as I said, this, um, session has been recorded in case you would like to share it and go over it at the end of, um, with your teams, and I will post it on the special ed hub, once it becomes available, and um- It usually takes us about an hour or two. And then I will send it to Ellie to post. So if you have any questions, you can put it in the chat, raise your hand and we’ll take it. Ellen Glaser: Debbie? Debbie Lorenzo: Yes. Ellen Glaser: I just kind of had a thought about that. I think that if there’s other questions we should take. Debbie Lorenzo: No, that’s okay. You can do now. Okay. Ellen Glaser: So with IAs, you know, if they work past their hours, they have to get time and a half. I think I’m running it by Dawn, but I almost think that we’d prefer to break them up into two groups and pay two teachers. Um, I just don’t think there’s a way to use IAs after their, you know their-. Debbie Lorenzo: And I don’t know, either. That’s why I said we would have to check that it was a good question, because I don’t think it’s ever come up before but it’s something that, um, it’s probably going to come up as we have students with, um, different needs who may need, um, you know, you know bathroom, the person had said they have, ah, two students that will be in the group who may need help with, um, bathroom needs or anything with snacks and maybe too much for the teacher on her own. So, you know, I think there’s going to be circumstances out there. Unknown Speaker: Likewise, you know, if there’s more than two students, if there’s multiple in a group for recovery services, an IA certainly could be helping that teacher who’s providing the services to the group. Debbie Lorenzo: But I did I did have concerns as to whether or not we can actually you know, how that would? How would what would we do how, how do IAs get paid after if they’re covering it? Is that possible? Unknown Speaker: I think that’s a very sticky point in the county. I remember my time and as department chair and our principal always wanted us not keep an IAs after hours at all. Ellen Glaser: That’s exactly the way it was for us, too. If they ever came to anything after school. It was like they [inaudible] another day that week. Debbie Lorenzo: Yeah, and that was my understanding as well, but it’s but you know, we might as well check into it because if it does come up, we may need to have more than one staff member teacher in the room them or split them. Angelina Prestipino: Ellen can’t they be paid just like anybody else that they’re working outside of their contract hours? I think that’s more the issue is that they don’t get compensated if they work outside their contract hours, right? Ellen Glaser: I think it’s that they have to have time and a half. Angelina Prestipino: Oh, okay. Ellen Glaser: And I think time and a half might put them at- I don’t know what that would put them at. I just think it’s a whole other thing with HR. Yeah. Yeah. Angelina Prestipino: That makes a lot of sense. That’s too bad. Because, you know, when when the person asked the question this morning, I was like, well, yeah, it’s just like during, ESY, we have IAs as you know, for that exact reason what that individuals describing is students have toileting issues or feeding issues. It’s, it’s really tough to be working with them and try to feed them as well as Ellen Glaser: I actually put it on my list of things for us to talk about in our Wednesday meetings. Because I think that’s-
Video Clip for 2.2.21 Special Education Department Chair Meeting:

0 comments on “Fairfax County Public Schools Recovery Services: Not Ready, Needing Reminders, and “We Are Not Responsible” Are Repeat Themes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *