Return to Learn – Resources for students receiving special education services

Central Rivers AEA Special Ed Return to Learn plan
This document outlines the safety protocols put in place for CRAEA staff delivering services to students.

Recovery services information for learners receiving IDEA services is now available from the Iowa DE. They have also created a Rubric to help IEP teams as they work through the decision on what recovery services are needed.

Iowa IDEA Information
The Iowa Department of Education and Iowa’s Area Education Agencies have launched a new early intervention and special education guidance system, known as Iowa IDEA Information (i3).  This site was developed collaboratively with local districts and with input from parents and partner agencies from across Iowa.

FERPA, IEPs, and Virtual Learning
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. For the purposes of this document, FERPA applies to all districts and public elementary and secondary schools. FERPA establishes a number of rights for parents and age of majority students to protect personally identifiable information (PII), and requirements for districts to ensure student privacy rights are maintained.

FAPE Considerations for Return-to-Learn
Regardless of the delivery model used (On-Site, Continuous Learning/virtual, or Hybrid), districts must ensure that eligible individuals receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE is determined individually based on a complex intertwining of concepts, meaning that FAPE will look different for each eligible individual.

Placement Decisions During COVID-19 Pandemic
Placement decisions for eligible students can be, in the best of times, tricky for IEP teams, including the family. Add in the changing nature of educational services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and placement decisions become challenging, if not overwhelming, for IEP teams. This document is intended to help IEP teams clarify the factors to be considered when determining placement during continuous learning/virtual and hybrid delivery of general and special education.

Return-to-Learn: Placement Considerations for Administrators
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators and families are being asked to consider all possible platforms for specially designed instruction for students with individual education plans (IEPs). Doing so ensures their access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), as well as their ability to continue to receive services regardless of the designation of the Return-to-Learn plan outlined by their district. This document discusses various options for IEP teams to consider.

Recovery Services for Learners Receiving IDEA Services
This document contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding COVID-19 recovery services for learners receiving IDEA services.

E-Signatures for Informed Consent for Services in Special Education
Electronic signatures are an acceptable and convenient means of obtaining consent for IDEA administrative purposes at any time. The convenience of electronic signatures has become even more apparent during this response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This support document provides reminders for when consent is needed for IDEA administrative procedures and suggestions for ways to obtain the electronic signature.

If you have questions regarding any of the above resources, please contact Amy Knupp, Executive Director of Special Education (