The Department of Education emphasizes the importance of flexibility in meeting children’s educational needs.
Earlier this year, the Department of Education released a document addressing concerns surrounding the availability of Early Intervention Services to infants and toddlers with special needs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), the state is required to “ensure the development, review, and implementation of an IFSP developed by a multidisciplinary team, which includes the parents,” reaffirming the importance of Early Intervention services.
However, the Department acknowledges that the face-to-face meetings, typically required under IDEA, may not be feasible in light of the current “operational constraints” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the Department announced that initial, annual and periodic IFSP meetings could be conducted through a telephone or video conference. However, the Department clarified this can only be done if both the parents and IFSP team members agree to the telephone or video conference. The meeting should still be held at a time convenient to the family, and, when possible, in the family’s native language.