Update from the Office of Student Services: July 21, 2020

Update from the Office of Student Services: July 21, 2020
Posted on 07/21/2020
Dear OSS Community,

As we look ahead and prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we want to express our deep gratitude for your flexibility and adaptability as we quickly transitioned to remote learning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. We feel the frustration and confusion this shift has caused you and your family, and we know how important timely communication is throughout the ups and downs. For that reason, my team and I are working this summer to revamp our procedures and practices to better support your child whether we are in person, fully remote or a combination of the two this fall. This will include more regular communication and more opportunities for collaboration in this new learning environment.

We know there are many unanswered questions, and we will address them all as we are able to. Please find the latest updates we have below:

1. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Fall Guidance for Students with Disabilities:
First, if full time is not possible for all students, DESE has asked districts to prioritize in-person instruction for students with disabilities, particularly preschool aged students and those with significant and complex needs. If full time is not possible for such students, school districts are encouraged to provide as many in-person services as possible on a part-time basis for those students with significant and complex needs (i.e. related therapies, ABA, and social-skills groups). If a family chooses the remote only option, or if there is a state-wide or local mandate for all students to learn remotely, then schools and districts must be prepared to provide services through “Instruction and Services” mode of delivery as stated on the student’s IEP.

2. OSS Family Survey:
We sent out a survey on Monday this week to learn more about you and your child’s remote learning experience in the spring. We know how challenging this transition has been, and your feedback is a critical component to our fall planning so we can create robust remote learning opportunities for all students. Please complete this brief survey by Monday, July 27. If you need assistance, please contact us at [email protected] or 617.349.6494.

3. Monthly Virtual Town Halls:
I will be hosting a monthly series of virtual town halls starting Thursday, July 30 at 3:00pm. Please submit any questions you would like for us to discuss here. We will provide more details on the event along with the access link soon.

In Partnership,

Dr. Alexis Morgan
Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Services
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