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Special Meeting with FCASD's Tim Mahoney - August 12, 2020

Updated: Nov 18

PALS Meeting Minutes

June 29, 2020 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


On August 12, 2020 we held a special meeting with Fox Chapel Area School District (FCASD), Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, Tim Mahoney. Tim answered questions and provided guidance related to special education services for the 2020-2021 school year after the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. Below please find a presentation Tim shared with us and our question and answer session.


Presentation

PALS - Return-to-School Summary (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 588KB

Q & A

Based on the work of the Back-to-School Coalition Special Education Committee is there any specific information you would like to share about getting our students back in the classroom?

Any information about helping students whose families have been working with their children on wearing a mask all day.

Are students who receive therapies going to receive extra days of in-person instructions for those therapies in an effort to ensure they maintain their designated time within the general education setting? How is FCASD scheduling all the IEP meetings prior to the start of the school year in less than two weeks?

In the Spring, it was six weeks into the shutdown before services began. Will services begin sooner this Fall?

How are you planning on evaluating kids needs when you haven't seen them since March? When will they be reassessed?

Is it the responsibility of the parent to initiate the IEP meeting when the children return to school?

Are the IEPs going to have to be revised before any of these “COVID-era” services can be put into place? Or will the new service provisions just begin with the first week of school?

Will the same considerations be given to students with 504 plans?

Have there been discussions in the work groups regarding plans for kids who will be completely online in the blended model? Will we work with our home school teams or will there be a team dedicated to the online kids? Specifically reading and math support.

How is the district grouping the students in a way to ensure diversity within the cohort and maintaining a student's percentage of time in the general education classroom is met?

What are the latest numbers on families choosing the hybrid model, FCA, and FCAO?

Follow-up question to the wearing of masks. We know every year the district has access to medical information families provide some of which may be things like asthma, anxiety, and seizures. Based on that information, is the district seeing the expected number of medical notes excusing a student from wearing a mask? Or is is greater or less than expected?

Will students be grouped for Occupational Therapy (OT) or will therapy be provided one-on-one?

Will the school start and end times be the same for online and in-building school? For instance, school and bus times for the start of school and dismissal. Will they be the same as last year? How long is the online school day compared to in-person school day?

During the school board meeting on Monday the question of Cohort 1 going to school on Monday and Tuesday opposed to Monday and Thursday and Cohort 2 going to school Thursday and Friday opposed to Tuesday and Friday. Has there been any further discussion on the days of the week that the two cohorts go to school?

In regards to Tim’s comment regarding diversity and not automatically having full person four day weeks for the special education students, why did you not offer that upfront to parents who were making it clear through e-mails that online classes were not working for their student?

Next Meeting: August 26, 2020 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

**NEW Log-in and Password for this and all upcoming meetings will be sent in all upcoming newsletters.

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