OPUSD supports remote learning for special education students

Individual distance learning agenda for students with IEP and 504 plans

With a short window to make preparations for distance learning, the transition to remote education has created some anxiety and uncertainty, especially for the parents of students with disabilities and learning disadvantages, according to student counselor Randy McLelland.

One issue that had to be addressed was the manner in which special education teachers and aids would be able to communicate and work with their students.

“OPHS is taking many steps to ensure students with specialized learning plans are supported during these unprecedented times of Distance Learning,” Assistant Principal Natalie Smith said. “Case managers and instructional aides are working with general education staff members to support students who need special accommodations.”

To mimic the system they had during traditional school days, case managers are allowed access to Google Classroom in order to review class materials and provide their students with clarifications and assistance in real-time, should they need it.

During the time of school closure, the district has said they will continue to provide the assistance that is stated in each student’s 504 plan, but in a different way.

“Because person-to-person contact is limited … it may not be possible or necessary for all accommodations and/or supports identified in every child’s 504 plan to be implemented as written … some accommodations, supports or services that are necessary within the general education school classroom context may not be necessary in the context of the distance learning format,” McLelland wrote.

Despite the rapid changes, it is highly encouraged to account for all the available resources provided by the school as well the district in order to provide aid or to answer any questions.

The California Department of Education “encourages parents to reach out to their school or district office to have a conversation about the impact of the pandemic on their student’s education and collaborative ways to support the student during this time.” 

Along with the guidance of the CDE and the Department of Public Health, the district will continue to provide accommodations and update guardians of the measures being taken to help their child.