eNotesSeptember 15, 2020
Updates from the ECTA Center
Testimonial Videos Prepare Families for Virtual Visits
These short testimonials describe the ease of use and benefits of virtual home visits. Five families share their experiences with virtual home visits and reveal their initial concerns, impressions, hopes, and successes. The videos address families where they are, whether they are new to EI/ECSE and want to better understand virtual visits, or want to make the most of their providers' expertise during and in between virtual visits.
Reaffirming Key Early Childhood Practices During a Pandemic
This new resource emphasizes practices that have proven effective in meeting the challenges of providing services to young children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The key practices are: Partnering with Families, Family-Centered Service Provision, Effective Teaming and Collaboration, and Maximizing the Use of Technology. Each area also includes a set of questions for group discussion or self-reflection.
Transition from IDEA Part C to Part B, Section 619 During COVID-19
All transition processes and timelines under IDEA during COVID-19 are still required, although all services may not be provided as they have been typically. This resource emphasizes services should remain seamless and consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of children and families. Topics areas covered include: General Considerations, Notification, Transition Plan with Steps and Services, Transition Conference, Evaluation for Part B Eligibility and Providing Services for Children Eligible Under Part B.
Transition from Part C to Part B, Section 619 Services: Review of Existing Documentation for Children
This Microsoft Word template document provides a checklist that can be used during transition planning to gather key Part C information to consider during the Part B evaluation and eligibility determination process. It can help in gathering vital information used during a transition planning conference to establish eligibility and develop a high-quality IEP. Individual states' regulations can provide detail on the elements required for each eligibility category. The document can be edited to add rows or other elements.
Recent Updates to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Delivery of IDEA Early Childhood Services During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Part C and Part B, Section 619 Coordinators have sent many questions about how to provide IDEA services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two new answers were recently posted that addressed the following questions:
- During COVID, can states continue to provide IDEA Part C services to children over age three using IDEA Part C funds?
- What strategies are states, districts or programs using to conduct Part C and Part B, Section 619 eligibility evaluations and assessments remotely or through tele-intervention?
News from the Field
Questions for Proactive and Equitable Educational Implementation
The COVID-19 Education Coalition Centering Equity workgroup with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has released a set of questions that addresses accessibility, educator capacity, quality of learning opportunities, and educational outcomes.
The questions focus on students with disabilities; students who are American Indian, Black, and members of other racial or ethnic minority groups; English learners; students experiencing homelessness; students from low-income backgrounds; students who identify as LGBTQ; learners in the foster care system; and students who identify as migrant or live in rural and remote communities.
The questions range from how to ensure that all students are being equitably served in a remote environment to how to develop and implement a self-care plan that ensures educators are in the right frame of mind to equitably serve all students.
In Pursuit of an Equitable Start: Leveraging and Expanding Public Funding to Support a More Equitable Recovery for Young Children, Families, and Child Care Workers
This brief developed by PolicyLink in conjunction with ZERO TO THREE's Think Babies initiative describes how COVID-19 is widening existing racial and economic gaps in opportunities for infants and toddlers. Leveraging this moment will create more equitable systems that ensure all children have the necessary support for healthy development. These system changes include investments in high-quality affordable child care and paid family and medical leave policies.
Considerations for Building Post-COVID Early Care and Education Systems that Serve Children with Disabilities
This fact sheet, developed by City Trends, examines three critical implications for families with young children with disabilities during the pandemic. Topics covered include the intersectionality of disability, race, and ethnicity, and how it plays out across the country; the specific impact of the pandemic on families; and issues for states to consider as early childhood education programs begin to reopen.
OSEP Fast Facts: African American, American Indian or Alaska Native Children With Disabilities
OSEP has released two new Fast Facts that take a closer look at IDEA 618 data on race and ethnicity. Fast Facts is an ongoing effort to graphically display and present 618 data quickly and clearly. Data presented are from child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections. Highlights include:
- In school year 2018-19, 17.89% children with disabilities in the United States were Black or African American and 1.35% children with disabilities were American Indian or Alaska Native.
- In school year 2018-19, Black or African American students were more likely to be identified with intellectual disability and emotional disturbance and less likely to be identified with speech or language impairment or Autism than all students with disabilities. American Indian or Alaska Native students with disabilities were more likely to be identified with specific learning disability.
- In school year 2018-19, Black or African American students were more likely to receive a disciplinary removal than all students with disabilities while American Indian or Alaska Native students with disabilities were less likely to receive a disciplinary removal.
Family Engagement is Key to Student Safety Amidst COVID-19 Reopening
To keep students and families safe during the pandemic, the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) says that school leaders must do more to equip families with timely information to make the safest decisions possible for their students. Their recommendations for schools to consider include:
- Increase resources for parent support specialists tasked with ensuring consistent communication with families.
- Provide low-tech options for families to remain engaged such as phone trees and text alerts.
- Ensure all materials, including remote learning platforms, are available in families' home languages.
- Collect surveys frequently and in multiple distribution and collection modes.
- Increase funds for racially and ethnically diverse, counselors, social workers, and other mental and behavioral health professionals.
Early Childhood IDEA Centers and Parent Centers
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funds four national technical assistance centers (TA) that support state Part C and Part B 619 agencies and a network of parent centers. This resource highlights each center's goal and content focus.
The nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) perform a variety of direct services for children and youth with disabilities, families, professionals, and other organizations that support them. The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) is the national central information and products "hub" created for the network of Parent Centers.