July 29, 2020

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has released “Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools”, to help schools and school districts develop plans for the 2020-2021 school year. All schools and school districts are required to submit their Reopening Plans to NYSED by July 31, 2020. 
Important provisions of the NYSED Guidance include:
  • Health and Safety 
  • Nutrition 
  • Transportation 
  • Flexible School Schedules
  • Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
  • Technology and Connectivity 
  • Social-Emotional Well-Being
  • Special Education  

When schools reopen, students with disabilities will remain entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and the providers of special education services. NYSED's Guidance directed schools and school districts to consider in-person services a priority for high needs students with disabilities, whenever possible. However, schools and school districts must consider contingency plans, developed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), to address remote learning needs, in the event of intermittent or extended school closures. 

Whether school is remote or in-person, the school district must ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s IEP. 

Reopening plans must ensure meaningful parental engagement regarding the provision of services to that family’s child. 

Reopening plans must also ensure access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services and technology (including assistive technology), to meet the unique disability related needs of students.

Many students have lost skills due to pandemic school closures. CSEs must make individualized determinations regarding whether, and to what extent, compensatory services are to be provided once school reopens, and how they may continue if school closes.  

If you have questions about the state Guidance, a particular District's reopening plan, or how these issues affect students with disabilities, please contact Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Education and Disability Rights Project at (516) 292-8100.

Students with Disabilities in the New Normal, a Training for Advocates

Friday, September 11, 10:00-11:00

The COVID-19 public health emergency has been particularly challenging for students with disabilities. When schools reopen in the fall, addressing the health and safety needs of students and school staff while providing essential services to students with disabilities will present unprecedented challenges. This webinar will provide an overview of the rights of students with disabilities and how the COVID-19 public health emergency has affected those rights.

Please register. Attendance is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Please contact Cathy Lucidi at
631-232-2400 or clucidi@nsls.legal
with any questions.
COVID Rent Relief
Application Due July 30!

Applications for the NY-HCR COVID Rent Relief Program must be postmarked or submitted online by July 30, 2020 . Assistance will be distributed to eligible families based on economic and social need.

To qualify for help, New Yorkers must:
(1) have had low or moderate income prior to March 1, 2020; (2) have lost income during the pandemic; and (3) have a high rent burden.

Qualifying households are eligible for up to four (4)-months of rent subsidies equal to the increase in their "rent burden."

October 15: Stimulus Check Registration Deadline!
It's not too late for low-income New Yorkers to register to receive the COVID Economic Impact Payment. People whose incomes are below the threshold for filing a tax return, and who did not receive VA, SSI or Social Security Benefits in 2019 should register before October 15.
631 232-2400 | 516 292-8100 | 631 369-1112