Coronavirus Update

We understand this is a very challenging time. We will do everything possible to alleviate the additional stress that you may be having regarding your child’s case. Please be safe! Below you will find some of our latest guidance on a variety of Covid-19 related issues. _____________________________________________________________ We have received a directive from the NYC Department of Education regarding remote learning as it relates to your child’s case for tuition reimbursement. It is set-forth below. Again, it is extremely important that you maintain all documentation, electronic communications, and paper correspondence from your child’s school regarding his/her remote learning. Even if your case has settled for the 2019-2020 school year, you will still be required to provide the documentation specified below to the Bureau of Non-Public School Payables in order to receive your tuition reimbursement. Please contact us if you are having any issues with your child’s remote learning program or do not believe you are receiving the correspondence and documents that the Department is requesting below. The Department has advised and instructed us of the following: Absences During School Closures: The following language regarding absences, or school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be added to stipulations of settlement for claims of tuition reimbursement: “Any absences or periods of nonattendance resulting from the School being closed as a result of an order by or on the advice of a federal, state, or local government agency or authority related to COVID-19 shall not be deemed to constitute absences, provided the Parent submits satisfactory documentation detailing steps taken by the School to meet student’s special education needs during such period of school closure and/or extended absence via remote instruction, teleservices, or provision of schoolwork and materials.” Remote Learning Information: The Department is requiring the following information demonstrating that your child continued to be educated remotely during the school closure: (1) The start date for remote learning; (2) How remote learning is being provided, e.g.: a. is learning happening synchronously or asynchronously? b. the remote learning platform(s) being used; c. the technology/devices being used by the school and student/family (3) Plans for the following, including an explanation of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction and activities, and whether there is one- or two- way audio and video for each: a. instruction b. paraprofessional support c. related services d. support for multilingual learners e. nursing or health services (4) How student’s “attendance” for remote learning is documented Remote Learning Documentation the Department will Accept: “Guidance about remote learning sent by the student’s school to families and/or posted on the school’s website may be used to answer the above inquiries in whole or in part.” If your child’s school is not providing remote learning or he/she is not receiving the same level of related services: If this is the case, the Department is requesting that you “provide any explanation offered by the school regarding obstacles to [providing remote learning / related services] and share any communications from the school to families about learning opportunities during the closure.” Please also let our office know ASAP if this is the case. Tuition: The Department has asked that you provide the following tuition information “on school letterhead from a school administrator or authorized agent, including name and title”: “details on the school’s tuition policies related to the closure, including any announced or anticipated rebates, proration, deferrals, or other changes to amounts owed by parents (including but not limited to policies applied to students for whom the DOE has funding obligations via settlement, pendency, or impartial hearing or court order). Please note any contractual provision(s) upon which tuition policy for the current period is based. Communications from the school to parents may be sent in partial or complete response to this question.” Finalized 2019-2020 Settlements: “For all previously finalized settlements for 2019-2020 where payment is pending receipt of attendance records, please also provide documentation consistent with the above to SEU [Special Education Unit] so that attendance and the provision of remote learning can be confirmed with the Bureau of Non-Public School Payables.” Thus, even if your child’s case has settled, you still need to maintain and submit all records, correspondence, and documents regarding your child’s remote learning. _______________________________________________________________ We are closely monitoring changes and updates and will keep you posted. We look forward to continuing to work with you during this difficult time to resolve your case. Again, we hope that you and your family are safe. For additional questions about the impact of the Coronavirus on your specific case, or other inquiries, contact us at jennifer@ratclifflaw.org or 646-741-3030.

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