Easing the transition back to school for students with disabilities

The article originally appeared in District Administration on May 26, 2020 by Amy Onaga.

Although schools in many states will remain closed throughout the summer due to concerns about COVID-19, many districts are preparing to reopen their campuses in the fall or even earlier. A big challenge that districts will face in the upcoming school year is transitioning students with disabilities back to the school setting, says Robin S. Ballard, a partner with Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP, in Florham Park, N.J.

While educators may be eager to bring students with disabilities up to speed as quickly as possible, Ballard recommends that districts initially focus on reorientation. Students may need time to readjust to the school schedule and environment.

Consider these best practices to facilitate students’ transition to the school setting:

· Keep collecting data for future evaluations, assessments. “Right now, it’s important for educators to be checking in on students and where they are functioning,” says Ballard. Data collected during school closures will help the IEP team determine whether a studen