Special Education, Gifted, ESOL, Preschool FAQs
How will Sycamore Schools adequately support Special Education students from the start of school?
Students who have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) services will receive services and supports outlined within their IEPs. This will be the case whether they engage in face to face learning or Virtual Classroom Learning. IEP services for students enrolled in Virtual Classroom Learning will receive their special education services virtually, unless the IEP team determines otherwise. Students enrolled in the face to face instructional model will receive their IEP services within the school building. All necessary health precautions and safety measures will be implemented and considered when determining the delivery of special education services.
IEP teams, including parents, will meet to review the student’s current IEP and determine how, when, and through what method the special education services will be provided. IEP teams will discuss and prioritize student needs and services through this process, and could potentially amend the student’s IEP to reflect the services being provided.
How will 504 plans be implemented in both options?
Students who have 504 Accommodation Plans will continue to receive accommodations as outlined within their individualized plans whether engaging in face to face or Virtual Classroom Learning. 504 teams, including parents, will meet to review the student’s current 504 Plan and determine if any amendments are required to support the student’s engagement with the academic programming of Virtual Classroom Learning.
Will gifted services be available if students are enrolled in virtual classroom learning?
Sycamore is committed to continuing to provide a service model with a continuum of gifted support to gifted identified students in Kindergarten through grade 12, whether in a face to face or Virtual Classroom setting. Gifted programming may be provided by teachers licensed in gifted education or teachers who have received specialized professional development in the qualities and characteristics unique to gifted learners.
What steps are being considered for Gifted Intervention Specialist assignments for elementary students in both the online and face-to-face formats?
Until we are able to receive teachers' intentions, we are not able to specifically plan for this. However, it is the district's intention to have GISs or teachers who have received specialized professional development in the qualities and characteristics unique to gifted learners to teach the gifted courses whether it is virtual or face-to-face.
What might differentiation look like for grades 5-8 in an online format?
Just as with face-to-face, online teachers will conduct diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments to gather data on student learning and mastery to inform their instructional design.
Can families of newly identified gifted students expect long delays in being added to gifted classroom rosters? If so, would there likely be a longer waiting period with the online or the face-to-face format?
Newly identified students will already be added to gifted classroom rosters. There will be no waiting period for those students who have already qualified for services.
When will testing take place for new gifted identification in the elementary and middle school (since spring testing could not take place)?
Additional opportunities for testing will be provided when safely possible and as required by the Ohio Department of Education. We hope to do this prior to the opening of the school year for grades 3-6; more information will be shared regarding this opportunity. All other grade levels will be offered a testing opportunity after school starts. Any new qualifiers may have to change classroom placement right before school starts. Students who are new Accelerated Math qualifiers will need to complete Math Bridge Work concurrently along with the Accelerated Math coursework.
Will enough trained and certified AP instructors be available to teach in their areas of expertise in both the online and face-to-face educational options?
We will make every effort to offer all of our courses in the virtual classroom and offer all students access to the content experts. We are considering creative solutions such as live streaming from the face-to-face classroom as a possibility for the virtual classroom for unique courses. However, there may be exceptions.
How will the preschool program be impacted?
We will be implementing a phase-in process for students attending preschool. Only preschool students who are provided special services through an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) will begin attending preschool face-to-face at the beginning of the school year. All other preschool students will begin October 20th, which is the beginning of the second quarter. For preschool students beginning October 20th, tuition will be prorated.