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Special Education During COVID-19

Dear Families,

As the Director of Special Services for Albert Lea School District, I am writing to you today to give you a broad overview of our special education plan in the coming weeks.  Our goal is to maintain close communication with students and families.   

Consistent with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the Albert Lea School District is proposing to modify your child’s IEP services to indicate that the special education teacher and/or

paraprofessional will connect with the parent or student on a regular basis regarding special education activities provided to the student.  These connections may include virtual or online learning; paper packets or worksheets; electronic or paper textbooks; telephone instruction; teletherapy; occupational therapy, and/or physical therapy; online resources, instruction via Schoology and/or SeeSaw, and other curriculum-based instructional activities. 

The Albert Lea School District is proposing these changes so your child can continue to receive a free appropriate public education on school days that are designated as Distance Learning days by the Governor of Minnesota.  The regular services, supports, and accommodations listed on your child’s IEP will resume when face-to-face instruction in schools is reinstated.

In proposing these changes to your child’s IEP, the Albert Lea School District considered your child’s current IEP, most recent evaluation report and input from staff members who work with your child. The Albert Lea School District also considered guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Governor.

For due process meetings (IEP, evaluation results) during a distance learning period, the IEP’s will be written to reflect what our proposed services will be when the students start physically coming to school again, and will also include language about Distance Learning.  Your case manager or the lead teacher will be in touch with you regarding options to participate by phone.  Reevaluations for students will likely proceed with methods, which do not require in person face-to-face interaction. 

If you have questions, please direct them to your child’s case manager.  Both Kristin Otremba (Assistant Director of Special Services) or myself will also be happy to assist. 

Sincerely,

Tami  Alphs
Director of SPECIAL SERVICES
211 WEST RICHWAY DRIVE
ALBERT LEA, MN 56007
PHONE (507) 379-4822    FAX (507) 379-4819