New Jersey Specific Guidance for Schools & Districts
Home instruction/services shall be consistent with the student’s Individualized Education Plan Program (IEP) to the most appropriate extent possible. Districts should talk to parents, who are key members of the IEP team, and help them consider how they may best ensure that students with disabilities have the necessary supports, including medical supports, in place during a public health-related school closure. Consultation with the parents should explore how students with disabilities will gain equitable access to home instruction.
This is a temporary situation, and districts must offer special education services to the most appropriate extent possible while students are away from their schools/programs. IEP teams may need to consider compensatory services when students return to school and IEPs may need to be adjusted accordingly. The IEP team should determine the amount of compensatory related services students with IEPs may require, on a case-by-case basis, when school resumes.
For further information, please refer to the Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak and the NJDOE broadcast Providing Special Education and Related Services to Students with Disabilities During Extended School Closures as a Result of COVID-19.
Responsibilities for Ensuring Services
Each district should update contact information for every out-of-district placement where one or more of their students with disabilities attends and maintain regular communication during school closures. This includes in-state and out-of-state approved private schools for students with disabilities, county educational services commissions, jointure commissions, special services school districts, Naples placements, regional day schools, the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf and other school districts.
It is the responsibility of the sending district to ensure students with disabilities attending out-of-district placements are provided with instruction during school closures consistent with the student’s IEP to the greatest extent possible. Districts are encouraged to consult with the student’s school of attendance regarding the nature and delivery of instruction.
Students in out-of-state residential schools may remain in those placements; however, if they will come home during the time of the closure, the local health agency should be contacted for guidance regarding their return to school. Decisions regarding attendance for students educated outside of the district should be made on an individual district basis. If an out-of-district placement remains open while a student’s resident district is required to close, and it is determined that the student will not attend school, the home instruction guidance to the resident district applies to that student if he or she does not attend school. The provision of home instruction should be determined in consultation with the receiving school. Ultimately, it is the sending district’s responsibility to ensure home instruction is provided.
Auxiliary & Remedial services to Students Enrolled in Nonpublic Schools
Districts should consult with their contracted service providers and their nonpublic schools in developing a plan to provide services to students consistent with each student’s individual service plan.