UPDATES COVID-19

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

Frequently asked questions

image50

IEP / CSE meetings:

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.

Referrals:

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. 

Evaluations:

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.” 

Remote learning:

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 curriculum.

Device needs for remote learning:

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.   

Wi-Fi access for remote learning

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, eligible households interested in this solution can call:

  •  866-200-9522 to enroll in Optimum region
  •  888-633-0030 to enroll in Suddenlink region

For additional Information: Altice USA information ;

Free Meals

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


Related services for students with disabilities

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 ).

Supports for English Language Learners

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. 

New York State Assessments

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.

SAT, ACT, AP, IB EXAMS

SAT Testing

The March 14 and May 2, 2020 administrations of the SAT have both 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.  

The ACT

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.  

ACT.org

AP Exams

The College Board continues to update their website regarding AP exams.

AP Updates for Schools Impacted by Coronavirus

IB Exams

IB recently updated their website and continue to do so. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update page.