Special Education Parent Forum August 14, 2020
The link to the slide deck is .
What was this forum?
Tim Luff, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Erin Miller, Director of Student Services outlined how hybrid and remote models for reopening NPS will work for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Parents were confused by the options for students with IEPs when completing the NPS survey. Mr. Luff stressed that however you complete your child’s survey, you will be able to work with Student Services to change it.
What is the plan for Natick students with IEPs?
The plan is for students with IEPs to attend every day in person. Natick Public Schools (NPS) will follow the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) recommendation to prioritize in person learning for students with IEPs while following safety guidelines required in a pandemic environment. NPS’ goal is to deliver as many of the services as possible in students’ IEPs so services are offered every week that school is open.
• Note that even if the NPS district goes into remote learning mode, DESE wants special education services given in person.
• DESE also requires all districts to offer a fully remote option for students who require it. Students with IEPs who choose the remote model are entitled to all their services and NPS will work with families to deliver them.
Students with IEPs may choose the Remote Model and are entitled to all their services. NPS is making further distinctions based on the DESE priorities noted above.
Students who choose Remote due to specific medical or disability related need (of the student and/or a family member) will have access to a full complement of IEP services in a remote or alternative environment. These students will be assigned a full schedule of classes similar to their live peers that will be offered in multiple ways, depending on student need.
Students who choose Remote who do not have a specific medical or disability related need (of the student and/or a family member) will continue to have access to a full schedule of Special Education Services in the live setting that can be accessed in all models of instruction offered
The School District will do everything in its power to offer remote services to students who are in this situation subject to the availability of staff and numbers of students.
Parents should not expect the full range of IEP services to be provided remotely in this situation since live special education services will always be available to students who are in this category
Student Service staff will contact families who choose Remote to create a specific plan for your student. This will be individually determined for each child, but may consist of a full remote plan or finding alternative locations to provide live instruction.
NPS plans for students who choose the Hybrid model to attend in person both weeks with the goal of delivering as many special education services as possible.
Cohorts? The essential premise each student will be assigned to a single cohort and cohorts will not mix. See specific examples below.
Shared Spaces? Areas like hallways, entries, bathrooms, transportation waiting areas will all be regulated by school with the goal of eliminating cross contamination.
Professional service providers? Services like OT, PT, BCBA and Therapy will happen in person or remotely with the goals of limiting exposure while delivering to specific needs.
Transportation? If students have special transportation, for example JFK van, they will have the this transportation both weeks. If parents do not want their child in specialized transport, they can drive them and be reimbursed. If students ride the school bus they will have a bus stop both weeks.
Some specific learning contexts:
Students in general education classrooms with pull-out service or students in co-taught classes
The first week (Live Week) the student is with their full cohort (students with and without IEPs) and taught by general education teacher and special ed teacher and getting services. The second week (Remote/Live Week) the student is with a subset of their cohort---only the students with IEPs--- and the special ed teacher following that week’s schedule and receiving services. They meet in a different physical space. The students will receive age-appropriate support for assigned work.
Students in Preschool, ACCESS, ACCESS-Autism, Communication Program, EDBD Program, Northstar or ACHIEVE programs
The students will be placed into cohorts within these programs and attend each week. If students’ schedules have them going out of their classroom for specific classes, they may have to participate remotely since students cannot move between cohorts. Special Education teachers and staff will remain with their cohorts.
Schedules? These are not fully worked out yet but examples by school level are in the presentation 10—12.
What will the students “do” for the Remote/Live weeks? Students will follow the same schedule as their remote peers with modifications made for services required by their IEP. Students will have live support in accessing each area identified in their schedule.
Elementary students will receive support on Remote week assignments given by their classroom teacher and participate in their services and remote specials. Students will receive support to log in and to engage.
Middle School students will receive support on Remote week assignments, access electives remotely and participate in their services. Some students may access general ed classrooms remotely.
High School students will receive support on their remote assignments, participate in IEP services and receive overall executive function support for all classwork and homework. They will also participate in remote electives such as PE, Art and Chorus.
Do students with IEPs have to attend both weeks?
To guarantee all of their IEP services, YES.
Parents may choose to not send their children in for special education services during the live remote week, but would be choosing on their own to not have their child access the services offered by the district.
Parents may also choose to send their children in for select services during the remote week based upon their child’s schedule, but may need to provide transport if those periods don’t align with the beginning or end of day.
What happens next? NPS will be sending out letters with class and cohort information in the coming weeks. The letter will include information special ed services for each student.
Who do we contact with questions? Contact the Student Service staff person at the student’s school as listed below.
Natick Pre-School: Mary Beth Kinkead <>
Ben- Hem Elementary: Hannah Cross <>
Brown Elementary: Paul Tagliapietra <>
Johnson and Memorial Elementary: Maria Reardon <
Lilja Elementary: Nevart Mikaelian <>
Kennedy Middle School: Jennifer Braman-Parikh <>
Wilson Middle School: Rebecca Comiskey <>
Natick High School: Barbara Molinari-Bates <>
Director of Alternative Education/NorthStar: Mark Mortarelli <>
Out of District Coordinator: Kathryn Garcia <>
Erin Miller, Director of Student Services at
Tim Luff, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services at