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Resources to Support Students with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During Maryland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, a continuum of teaching and learning remain in place (Figure 1). Throughout the extended school closure and re-opening process currently underway, continuity of learning models implemented in each local school system/public agency (LSS/PA) continue to adapt for both general and special education (as illustrated in green and blue, respectively, in Figure 1), driven by the health and safety needs of teachers, service providers, and students under the direction of the Governor and State Superintendent of Schools. 

In April, each LSS/PA was required to develop a systemwide Continuity of Learning Plan for all students, including students with disabilities, and in August, required to submit a local board approved Recovery Plan in alignment with the MSDE’s Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education. Throughout this process, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities have been, and continue to be, reviewed, amended, or revised as appropriate to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) consistent with the districtwide service delivery model.

Infographic detailing the continuum of teaching and learning from March 2020 through Fall of 2021.
Figure 1.

Serving Children with Disabilities Under IDEA During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The MSDE Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI/SES) has created the following resources in order to address common issues raised by local public agencies, parents, and the advocacy community, and remains committed to supporting local public agencies as we navigate these rapidly evolving and challenging times. Local public agencies should also continue to consult with their legal counsel to ensure local continuity of learning plans and practices comply with applicable state and federal law.

Federal Guidance

Supporting Students with Disabilities Through Distance Learning

Navigating Distance Learning

Online Engagement Systems and Platforms

Teaching Tools and Supports

The MSDE DEI/SES does not endorse the use of any of the resources provided.