Guidance to Address Return to Learn for Students with IEPs

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On June 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-142 that requires every school district and nonpublic school to develop and adopt a COVID19 preparedness and response plan (“Preparedness Plan”) informed by the Michigan Return to School Roadmap (“Return to School Roadmap”) as well as the MI Safe Start Plan.

The following guidance is written in this context to support the return to school for students with IEPs ages three to 26 during the pandemic.

References in this guidance document pertaining to the proactive use of a contingency learning plan are for the purposes of supporting districts in meeting their obligation to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. As districts anticipate the appropriate mode of instruction based on numerous variables pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, developing a
contingency learning plan in accordance with each student’s IEP allows for the planning and meaningful participation required whether a district is providing in person instruction or learning at a distance.

While IDEA and MARSE do not require the use of a contingency learning plan, MDE OSE strongly recommends districts’ use of the contingency learning plan as a process to support districts and families in planning through the uncertainties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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