Education, Special Needs

Strong Start Toolbox to Support Louisiana Students with Disabilities

August 6, 2020

Comprehensive suite of resources developed in collaboration with state and national education leaders

The Louisiana Department of Education is supporting students with disabilities through a suite of comprehensive resources developed alongside state and national education leaders. These recently updated resources are serving systems, educators and families during modified operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“School may look different this year, but our commitment to families and students remains steadfast,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These resources will guide educators and families as they work to serve our students who need their support the most.”
The Department developed these resources alongside teachers, special education leaders, family support centers, the special education advisory panel and the National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO). This collaboration ensures these resources reflect the latest research and meets the needs of Louisiana’s students with disabilities. 
“The Council appreciates the responsiveness of the Louisiana Department of Education in producing guidance materials for schools related to serving students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council Chair Randall Brown. “The leadership demonstrated in offering this guidance reflects a commitment to ensure all students receive the education and related services they need.”
The newest set of resources includes guidance for families, educators and direct service providers. The Strong Start 2020 Family Toolbox for Students with Disabilities offers families concrete ways to support their child’s learning. The Strong Start 2020 Reopening Guidance for Special Education Leaders helps systems and educators prepare for a successful reopening that meets the needs of students with disabilities. The Strong Start 2020 Reopening Guidance for Direct Service Providers includes resources to help direct service providers ensure students continue to receive special education and related services during traditional or modified operations. 
These newest additions build on a comprehensive suite of resources to assist educators as they serve students with disabilities and their families during this time.
  • Strong Start Compensatory Services Guidance helps schools deliver services to students with disabilities who lost learning during school closures. Parents can use this resource to understand options available to schools in delivering these services.
  • Accessibility and accommodations resources guide schools in providing high-quality instruction in hybrid and distance learning settings.
  • Students with significant disabilities guidance aids schools in serving children with complex needs during modified operations.
  • Privacy guidance offers insight to educators and families on ensuring student privacy during virtual small group instruction for students with disabilities.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) highlighted the LDOE resources in its Restart and Recovery guidance. CCSSO featured Louisiana’s resources for Strong Start compensatory services, direct services, virtual small group privacy guidance, students with significant cognitive disabilities, accessibility and instructional materials vendor guide.

For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Education’s website or contact the Louisiana Department of Education.

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