In response to the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, Long Island Advocacy Center (LIAC) will be working remotely as of March 16, 2020, out of concern for the safety and well-being of our staff, clients and families. Although our offices will be closed, we will continue to advocate on behalf of families and students. Please continue to contact LIAC staff via email or telephone, and know that LIAC will remain open virtually to help meet the evolving needs of our clients. We encourage you to call with specific questions, and/or complete an online intake for either the Nassau or Suffolk Office. We encourage all families to frequently check the websites of your districts for the most up to date information. We will continue to do our best to provide updated information to the most frequently asked questions and we will continue to update the information as the need arise
Please keep in mind the multitude of districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Each district is responsible for developing its own individual response and plan in accord with Federal, State and Local guidance. For that reason, each district may have a different approach and each district should be consulted for the most specific and complete information. Please refer to your own District’s website frequently for the best information.
New York State has cancelled the June 2020 Regents exams. Students will be granted diploma credit towards graduation as long as the student has passed the class. If a student fails the course, they may attend summer school to pass the class and no Regents will be required. If a student who passed a class but failed the Regents in prior years, credit will be given if the student was intending on taking the June 2020 exam. To be eligible the student either informed the school their intent to take the exam, the student was receiving academic intervention or tutoring to prepare for the exam, or the student took the exam in June 2019, August 2019, or January 2020 in an attempt to pass. Additionally, students will not be required to complete the 1,200 minutes of lab work for science exams.
IEP meetings for all students with disabilities: Many districts are seeking to move forward with IEP/CSE meetings remotely utilizing a variety of technologies. Please keep in mind, the school should make available any documents that will be discussed before the meeting. You should always be given proper notice of any meeting and a real ability to participate. If you are not able to participate in a remote meeting, you should contact the CSE chairperson and request a method/time that allows you to have full participation. If you need to schedule a CSE meeting, you should put the request in writing (either email or regular mail) and send it to the CSE chairperson for your district. As always, you should contact your CSE chairperson if you have questions or if you do not know when your CSE meeting is scheduled. Your district’s website may have information about CSE meetings.
Parents who wish to refer their students to the CSE may do so by sending a written request (either by email or regular mail ) to the District’s CSE chairperson. Each District is developing its own protocols for how it will proceed. It is unclear at this time whether timelines will be enforced by the NY State Education Department.
Districts may continue to do evaluations remotely when appropriate. Each district is working on a protocol. Current New York State Guidance states that “evaluations and reevaluations, including bilingual evaluations, that do not require face-to-face assessments or observations may take place while schools are closed, if the parent consents. If an evaluation of a student with a disability requires a face-to-face meeting or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until school reopens.”
Your district should have already contacted you about providing education while the schools are closed. Some districts are using snow days and vacation days and are not yet offering distance learning, while other districts have already begun. This can occur in many forms and will depend on your district and the age of your child. Distance learning can be achieved via virtual classrooms, or telephone calls from teachers with packets of work provided to students. Some districts are only using computer based learning and some are dropping off work at homes. These are just a few examples. You will need to check your district's website for specific information. If you have questions, you should email your principal or teacher. The email addresses should be on the district website. Most school personnel are responding to emails.
School districts must consider ways of ensuring that the planned remote learning is accessible to students with disabilities. If the way the district chooses to provide remote learning ( computer based learning, written packets video instruction) makes the material unavailable to your child, the district must provide your child with an effective appropriate alternate means to access the curricul
If your district is using distance learning that requires you to have a device (computer, ChromeBook, Ipad etc.) to access the learning and you do not have the necessary device, you should contact your school immediately. Many districts have set up a pick-up station for you to get the needed device.
Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, eligible households interested in this solution can call:
Remote Learning Resources and Support
Related services may be provided via teletherapy, or video-conferencing where clinically appropriate. Providers and schools should be contacting families to discuss the service plan for each student. Providers will also give families information about activities that can be done at home to reinforce the related services work. Many districts are seeking to provide other related services such as counseling remotely. As always, we encourage parents to reach out to their district with specific questions and keep a careful log of all related services provided as well as those not provided during this time as requests for compensatory services will likely be necessary at the conclusion of this time. (On March 17, 2020 the Office of Civil Rights at the US Dep’t of Education issued a fact sheet
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closed My Child's School: Is the School Required to Make Up Missed Services?
by Pete & Pam Wright Wrightslaw.com
New York State Education Department has suspended the administration of the following state assessments for the 2019-2020 academic year:
3-8 State Testing (ELA and Math)
New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.
There has been no decision issued with regard to the New York State Regents Examinations.
The March 14, May 2, and June 6, 2020 administrations of the SAT have been cancelled. Any students who were registered will receive a refund, and the College Board plans to provide future testing opportunities as soon as is feasible. More information is available on the College Board's website.
ACT has rescheduled the April 4 national test to June 13 across the U.S. Students registered for the 4/4 test should receive an email and should visit the ACT website for further information.
The College Board continues to update their website regarding AP exams.
IB recently updated their website and continue to do so. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update page.
School districts must provide meals to low-income children during school closures related to COVID-19. Schools are encouraged to develop a plan that best meets the needs of those in their community, and we again encourage you to access your district’s website for distribution points or your specific district’s plan. Guidance from NYS Ed. Dept' on Food Distribution
Also, while food distribution would ordinarily not be available during school breaks, it would appear that is not the case in these unprecedented times. USDA Waiver Again, we would encourage you to connect with your district and/or local food pantry to determine how meals will be made available.
In addition, should you need to access a food pantry, you can find your closest by going to Food Pantry.org
If you were receiving English Language Learner services, you should contact your school to ensure that they provide some targeted instruction in English and appropriate supports in your Home Language. You should also be getting information about remote learning in your Native Language.
Talking with Students about Coronavirus