Below you will find information about how the Black Horse Pike Regional School District is supporting your learner with special needs during this pandemic.
Dear Parents and Guardians of Students with Special Needs and/or Parents of Students in the Referral Process,
We certainly hope that this notice continues to find you and your loved ones safe and healthy. When we started the school year in September, we were hopeful that we would be able to return to our normal schedule by now. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been able to do so. However, we remain committed to maintaining support and services for our learners with Special Education needs, in compliance with IDEA and each individual’s Individualized Education Plan. Here is an update on the ways the Special Education Department is ensuring your learners’ needs are being met.
Child Study Team Meetings and Evaluations
We continue to successfully conduct Reevaluation, Identification, and Annual Review meetings via online platforms and in-person upon request. We will continue to offer the choice of in-person or remote meetings, as long as Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders allow.
If in-person testing becomes prohibited, specific assessments may need to be delayed. We will continue to ensure that all learners who are pending initial eligibility or reevaluations are not denied needed services based solely on our inability to complete evaluations in a timely fashion. In these circumstances, our team, in collaboration with parents, will determine the need for specialized instruction where other sources of data demonstrate a clear need for specialized services. We will make every reasonable effort to provide those services in good faith until formal CST evaluations can be completed.
Related services (Occupational Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Counseling) continue to be offered in person or virtually in a 1:1 and/or small group setting. Our Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist are in direct contact with your learner to schedule services, if applicable. If, for whatever reason, you or your child haVE not connected with his/her related service provider, please reach out to your case manager to facilitate that connection promptly.
Our Speech Therapist continues to provide virtual and in-person therapy on a rotating schedule. To maximize services and minimize exposure, she remains in one building each week for in-person sessions. While she is in your learner’s home school, they will receive their services in person. All other learners will receive their services virtually that week.
The majority of counseling services will continue to be offered remotely so that the learners can maximize their time in the classroom when they are in the building. Please remind your learner to attend these sessions, if applicable. In the event that there is an emergency, our counselors and case managers will continue to be available.
Social and Emotional Well-Being
This is a challenging time for us all, particularly for children and young adults with pre-existing challenges associated with anxiety, depression, or other mental health diagnosis. Our district counseling websites have several resources if you or someone in your family requires additional support.
Timber Creek: https://www.bhprsd.org/Page/3551
Our Special Education Staff closely monitor all of our learners that they come in contact with, both in the classroom and online. They communicate their concerns with the learner’s Case Manager, School Counselor and/or Vice Principal to ensure that they receive any support they may need. Our staffulty communicate and collaborate with the learner and the family to address any concerns that may arise.
Case Managers and Counselors continue to schedule individual counseling sessions with students via Zoom, Google Meet, Remind and phone. If a learner is not able to attend their scheduled session, they should contact their Case Manager or Counselor to reschedule. The learner is afforded the opportunity to request a different time for future sessions, if the Case Manager and/or Counselor are available. If a learner requires additional counseling or simply an opportunity to talk and connect with a staff member, our staff are willing to help facilitate those interactions.
We welcome collaboration with our parents and families! If you have specific concerns regarding your learner’s social or emotional well-being, please contact your learner’s Case Manager or School Counselor directly.
By this time, all learners should know how to access their daily assignments via Google Classroom. There is live, synchronous instruction 5 days a week. We continue to offer a hybrid schedule that allows for two days of in-person instruction and three days of online synchronous instruction. For specific course content questions, please contact the teacher.
One to One or Shared Aide Support
For those learners who have the need for a one to one aide or shared aide, these supports will continue to be provided, regardless of the location of instruction.
In School Instruction
During the time your child is in the classroom, the assigned one to one aide or shared aide will continue to provide the necessary supports for your child in the classroom.
Remote Instruction: Live
During live instruction, their assigned one to one aides will be joining their learners in each of the virtual classrooms and continue to provide individualized support, remotely. If you have questions regarding the type of virtual support your learner is receiving, please contact your learner’s Case Manager.
For all learners receiving special education, there is a separate Google Classroom link that has been provided for additional support. Various special education staff (on a rotating schedule) will be available on this link to ensure support is provided to learners receiving remote instruction, throughout the day. Learners are encouraged to access this support for organization, access questions, quick questions and for facilitation of communication with their teachers. Learners are encouraged to contact their teacher directly for content related questions, however, our Special Education aides are available to facilitate this communication. The Google Classroom codes have been provided by the teachers and support staff. This video and audio conferencing link will be available during normal school hours 7:45am-2:00pm. If your learner is interested in accessing this additional resource, they can retrieve the classroom codes from their Case Manager or Teachers.
Additionally, Special Education Aides have been providing individualized support for learners on a regular basis. This may include: weekly emails regarding missing assignments or to-do checklists, scheduled meeting times to review work and maintain organization, specific content review or discussion, as well as the opportunity to just check in with someone specific, each day or week to ensure continued connections to the building.
We hope you have found this update helpful and informative; please continue to engage your learner’s support team, including Case Managers, Counselors, Teachers, and Therapists. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for further guidance and assistance.
Again, our most pressing hope is that you and your family are well and remain well.
With best regards,
The Special Education Department
Black Horse Pike Regional School District