Students with disabilities deserve a fair shot at success and in some cases require individualized instruction to prepare them for college, the workplace, community, and beyond. We will be making new investments in programs that support these students, with a focus on the full implementation of individualized educational programs (IEP) and 504 plans in addition to providing district-wide training for teachers on compliance and student supports.
PGCPS was able to spend all funds allocated in the 2019-2020 school year for special education. And, PGCPS had a plan to spend at least as much total state and local funds on special education in the 2020-2021 school year. However, due to COVID-19 school closures, PGCPS modified grant expenditures to ensure special education students had the following:
The Department of Special Education purchased materials for student use in the home environment during distance learning. Materials included manipulatives kits, communication boards, sensory materials, visual boards, instructional materials and resources. Funds were also spent on print materials. IEP meetings were conducted via teleconference or video platform - part-time funds were needed to support paying 1,437 staff.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, IEP meetings were either postponed or canceled. The Department of Special Education estimated that 4,000 IEP meetings were not held as a result of the COVID-19 school closure between March 16, 2020 and June 15, 2020. However, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that IEP teams meet specific timelines related to special education processes. In an effort to comply with IDEA timelines, the Department of Special Education has held duly constituted IEP team meetings - 2,000 IEP meetings for elementary, middle and high school students during the summer of 2020.
In addition, 200 Infant and Toddlers/pre-school Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/IEP meetings were held during the summer. Each IEP/IFSP team member who does not work during the summer months was paid to attend the IFSP and IEP meetings and complete IEP/ISFP preparation tasks to include assessment report writing and IEP/IFSP development. During the 2020-2021 school year, funding will continue to be used to support IEP development, assessment report writing and evening IEP team meetings for IEP staff members.
2019-2020 funds were used in the following ways:
December Survey 2020
Due to COVID-19 school closures, and the fact that PGCPS is still required to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all children with disabilities, even during this pandemic, PGCPS modified grant expenditures. In compliance with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the following grants awarded for special education have been fully encumbered:
|Student||Special Education Program||Type of Device/ Material||Total Number|
|PGCPS Students||Early Childhood/Special Education||
|None Public Placement||Non Public Placement||Chromebooks||200|
PGCPS was allocated $10,114,897 this current school year for special education. And, all funds are expected to be fully encumbered by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Ongoing activities and expenditures in this current 2020-2021 school year include:
Additionally, in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), materials for distance learning for preschool were purchased and will be used to increase accessibility at the schools below. Funding will also be used to support ADA compliance needs at neighborhood schools. Items such as grab bars, automatic door operators, railings installed on ramps, and ramps for portable classrooms have been either investigated for pricing or ordered.
The Department of Special Education in collaboration with the mathematics supervisors are preparing for the mathematics symposium to determine the framework on how to build the capacity of teachers to support instructional delivery with mathematical practices for students with disabilities. The mathematics symposium will be held on April 28, 2021, and includes experts in the field of special education and mathematics from around the state and country.
Finally, in an effort to comply with Section 504, PGCPS has placed an emphasis on providing supplies that support student accessibility in the virtual and hybrid learning environments such as face masks, student supplies i.e.pencils, highlighters, and computers. Further, $3,515 in registration fees was spent on 3 office staff members who will attend the 2021 Special Education Law Symposium @ Leigh College to increase their knowledge of special education laws and virtual learning resource programs.