Virtual Learning In Henrico
Dear Henrico County Public Schools families,
This communication is to provide you with access to updated information about what the closure of schools related to COVID-19 means for your student in exceptional education.
Will my child receive special education services during the closure?
HCPS has worked hard to follow the guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, and Office of Special Education Programs throughout this closure. As of April 20, 2020, based on the input and feedback provided by so many of our parents and students, along with state and federal guidance, HCPS will be providing all students with opportunities to engage in learning that was missed due to the school closure.
As such, each student’s case manager will be reaching out to the students on their caseloads to develop temporary learning plans which take into account students’ individual needs along with the current circumstances. These plans will lay out what support and services can be provided to the student during the closure so that each student is able to access the virtual learning opportunities to the greatest extent possible. In addition, related services providers will be reaching out to determine if virtual services are appropriate for your child, and how they might be provided.
In addition to the materials and resources provided directly from your child’s teachers and service providers, the HCPS Virtual Learning website provides a repository of web-based resources that you can access at home with your child during this period of school closure. We will be adding more information with resources specific for students with disabilities throughout the closure.
Remember, virtual learning is not mandatory. The HCPS Division of Learning has provided teachers with resources to create student experiences which promote continuity of learning and retention of skills during the extended closure. Teachers have been provided guidance regarding the use of these experiences. Students will not be penalized for lack of participation in these virtual learning experiences.
What if my child is in private placement?
Since the closure on March 13, HCPS has been collaborating with our partners in the private day schools to determine the best and most equitable ways to move forward with supporting our students. As of April 21, 2020 each private day school will be providing HCPS with a distance learning plan which outlines the ways that they are able to support your child during the closure.
We are working to ensure that students in private schools have access to technology and devices to support access to distance learning opportunities.
Your child also has access to any of the virtual learning opportunities offered by HCPS. Please be sure to reach out directly to your child’s case manager with any questions about this access.
What if my child is receiving homebound or home-based services?
While HCPS home instruction facilitators should still not be providing face-to-face services for students, facilitators have been authorized to provide up to two hours per week of additional consultation and support for students receiving home based instruction through their IEP in addition to those supports and services offered by students’ teachers.
What if we have an upcoming special education meeting?
HCPS is committed to promoting the safety and wellness of our students, families, and staff. We will not be conducting in-person special education meetings during the period of the closure. However, IEP and eligibility timelines must be maintained. As such, you will be provided with opportunities to participate in any required meetings via conference call or virtual meeting. All materials will be provided for your review prior to the meeting via email or other virtual methodology. If you are unable to participate in the meeting virtually, the team will move forward with a proposal to meet the timeline requirements, but will reconvene once schools are reopened so that you are able to participate in person.
How should I address individual questions or concerns I may have?
While schools and offices are closed, employees will be checking and responding to voicemail and email. If you have specific questions about your child, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to their case manager and/or school based administrator.
Also, the Exceptional Education Department is committed to providing support and guidance through this period. Our department organizational chart is linked here. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly with any questions or concerns you may have.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances.
Donice J. Davenport
Director of Exceptional Education
Henrico County Public Schools