Virtual special education meetings popular in some districts, but a major hurdle in others

This article originally appeared in EdSource on May 27, 2020 by Carolyn Jones.


In the wake of a federal order for schools to keep providing special education during school closures, one of the trickiest parts of those services — mandatory parent meetings — has proven to be an unexpected boon in some districts but almost impossible in others.


For parents who have computers and are comfortable with videoconferencing, the virtual meetings with teachers, therapists and other school staff have been relatively smooth and efficient. In fact, some districts say they’ll keep them even after schools reopen, because they’re more convenient for teachers and parents who work.


But the online meetings have been a challenge for parents who lack technological skills, don’t speak English or are preoccupied with more pressing matters, such as unemployment or homelessness related to the coronavirus pandemic.