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Arlington Public Schools
Special Education Department

Director of Special Education
Alison Elmer
Phone: 781-316-3533

Main Office: 781-316-3530
Fax: 781-316-3647

Mailing Address
Arlington High School
Special Education Dept, 6th Floor
869 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476

Special Education Coordinators

High School - Lynne Bennett

Middle School - Stephanie Greiner

Elementary - Kristin Burke

Elementary - Christina Ryan

Early Childhood - Joyce Schlenger

Out of District - Chris Carlson

Special Education

COVID-19 Information and Resources for Special Educators

Educational Resources for Students and Families (DESE)

Special Education and Related Service Remote Learning Opportunities During School Closures

On March 25, 2020, the Governor announced that mandated public health closures for all in-person educational operations for public and private elementary and secondary schools would extend until at least May 4, 2020. Unfortunately, this means that APS will not be able to provide any in-person educational services or evaluations during school closures. We understand that the extended public health closures present complex challenges for all families, particularly those families of students with disabilities. In response to the extended school closure and in line with updated state and federal guidance, APS is adding a remote learning opportunity model to the optional enrichment resource model already in place. The remote learning model aims to include, where appropriate and feasible, remote educator-led direct instruction and feedback focused on reinforcing and deepening content knowledge and skills already taught this school year. As part of this model, and to extent appropriate, APS plans to provide remote educator-led specialized instruction in line with studentsí individualized special education goals and needs.

We understand this is a monumental undertaking for the entire school community and that nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience. However, APS seeks to ensure students receive meaningful and engaging continuous learning opportunities during school closure and ensure students with disabilities are provided with meaningful opportunities to work on IEP goal areas consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of the school community. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding in this process.

Please be advised that in line with state recommendations, APS is not advancing the general education curriculum with overall remote learning opportunities; rather, APS is providing all students with opportunities for educator-led reinforcement and feedback on previously learned skills and knowledge from earlier in the school year. Although feedback will be provided to students to extent practicable to enrich learning engagement, grades will not be provided to students. During the remainder of the school closure, APSís special education supports and services will focus on providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities to engage in reinforcement instruction and feedback as well as opportunities for specialized instruction in IEP goal areas in an effort to maintain present levels of performance.

Studentís special education and related service providers are determining how to meet each childís individualized needs and will reach out with notification about how each provider plans to provide remote learning opportunities. In line with state guidance, APS is not required to hold IEP meetings prior to implementing remote special education and related services opportunities. Please be advised that there will be collaboration regarding making individualized changes, as needed, if students require more or less to have the opportunity to maintain skills in individualized areas of need and to access reinforcement curriculum and instruction.

We understand these are not ideal circumstances and hope to continue to collaborate positively and productively with families regarding the provision of remote learning opportunities. Special education staff is happy to connect with you on ideas about ensuring accessible instruction and materials are available to all students. Teachers and providers are also available for check-ins, trouble-shooting technological hurdles and answering questions about educational learning opportunity materials and reinforcement assignments.

Additionally, please note the following with regard to IEP meetings and evaluations:

IEP Meetings:
Given the extended closures, APS plans to provide opportunities for IEP Teams to engage in remote IEP meetings. APS will reach out to families that the district plans to hold IEP Team meetings for with additional details once district processes and procedures have been finalized. APS will be prioritizing IEP meetings with mandated timelines (e.g. annual reviews). There are no mandated timelines for reconvenes for rejected IEPs or parent-requested IEP meetings. While APS normally schedules as soon as practicable, these meetings will likely not be scheduled until after school re-opens.

Remote Special Education IEP Team Meetings

The vast majority of evaluations require standardized assessments with in-person protocol requirements, or, by their very nature, require an in-person component (e.g. classroom observation/in-home assessment). Due to the extended school closures, students are unavailable for in-person evaluations. In line with federal guidance, evaluation timelines will not continue to run if students are unavailable and are in-effect paused. The timelines will begin to run again when in-person educational operation restrictions are lifted. As practicable, Teams may reach out to complete some non-in person components of evaluations during school closures (e.g. rating scales, phone interviews).

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and collaboration during this unprecedented time for our school community.

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You can also chat with us online at

Call 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-6277

Runaway Assistance (Police Officers) ext 11

Childcare ext 23

Call2Talk (Mental Health Line) ext 25

Child Requiring Assistance ext 24

Disaster ext 20

Thank you very much, and we appreciate everyone's efforts to keep our community healthy.

The Arlington Public Schools provides a comprehensive array of programs and services from pre-school through grades 12 designed to address the needs of eligible students who have a disability and require specialized instruction.


This Workshop Has Been Postponed.
The process of helping your children understand who they are and any labels that may apply.



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Last Update: 04/03/20   Site Design by C. Bertoli