Home‎ > ‎

Student Services

School Closure Information- March 19, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardians of Students with Disabilities,

 

As you are aware, on March 15th Governor Baker issued an Executive Order indicating public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools must close through Monday, April 6, 2020.  We understand that school closures will have a significant impact on our students and that you may have questions on how to remain working as a team during this time.

 

The district administrators and staff are in the process of ensuring all students are provided access to educational resources during this closure, and we are hopeful this will allow us to remain connected both academically and socially with students.  We appreciate your patience as we work through these unimaginable times.  

 

We are working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as they are providing updated guidance for school districts in accordance with local and nationwide requirements for students with disabilities. The following list includes information from DESE that may answers some questions you have right now: 

 

  • All Holliston students, including students with disabilities, will be provided access to educational resources to continue the continuity of learning while schools are closed.
     

  • IEP services will not be provided during this time away from school. However, in our efforts to remain connected and part of a team, special education liaisons will be in contact with parents and/or students during this time.

    • Connection and support to learning opportunities may occur in various ways, including but not limited to: telephone communication, email, curated resources on HPS district website, and/or enrichment activities to complete at home.

    • Resource specific information for the following areas will be available on the Student Services website under the Special Education tab: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Counseling, and nursing.  Stay tuned for more information.
       

  • Students who are in Out of District Day or Residential Programs will continue to attend school so long as the placement remains open (please note that many Out of District programs have closed or are planning to close).  Transportation will continue to be provided to these students as long as transportation companies remain open. If your child attends an Out of District placement and you have any questions, please contact Carol Marble, administrative assistant, at marblec@holliston.k12.ma.us

 

  • Team Process and Timelines will be put on hold while schools are closed.

    • However, we plan to offer virtual Annual IEP Team meetings to parents/guardians who are interested in that option. This effort is not mandatory but rather an opportunity to remain connected and avoid a significant backlog of Team meetings when school is back in session. Parental consent and participation will be required. 

    • All new special education referrals, evaluations, extended evaluations, and re-evaluations as well as all other mandated timelines will freeze while the district is closed.

 

Upon return to school, it is our plan that all students will begin accessing Individualized Education Program (IEP) services immediately and the Team process will be back in place for students and families.  We do not anticipate compensatory services will be required as a result of the closure but we plan to assess the need for additional individual services if need be.

 

For immediate crisis related services and/or counseling, INTERFACE Referral services continue to be available.  The William James INTERFACE Referral Service is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free).

 

Please reference the following documents for further information and guidance:

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Q & As

Governor Baker's order dated March 15, 2020

Massachusetts Department and Elementary Secondary Education Information and Resources

 

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and teamwork during these unimaginable times.  Please contact me if you have any questions and continue to look for district and building specific information. 

 

Take Care,


 

Meg Camire

Director of Student Services

camirem@holliston.k12.ma.us