Pennsylvania

Learn more about what Pennsylvania is doing to increase opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities as they transition to employment or post-secondary education!

COVID-19 Response:

Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Summary: The Pennsylvania Department of Education has created a comprehensive list of mental health resources related to COVID-19. These resources instruct parents on talking to children about COVID-19, maintaining emotional wellness during a pandemic and hotlines for mental health crises.

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: Mental Health

Staff and Student Wellness Guide

Summary: This web page discusses the guidelines for schools engaging with families virtually. Specifically, it requires schools to consistently communicate with families over families’ preferred communication medium. It lists required mental health services for staff (such as required days off), required mental health services for students (such as tele counseling services), and provides resources for assisting students with mental health related concerns.

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: Family Engagement, Mental Health

Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education Guidance on Evaluations and Reevaluations

Summary: This web page answers legal questions regarding special education meetings and evaluations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes changes in the evaluation timeline due to COVID-related considerations, practices for virtual disability examinations, and so on. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: Distance Learning 

Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education: Answers to FAQs Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

Summary: This document discuses adjustments to IEP procedures and provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights new procedures for virtual IEP meetings, as well as guidelines for the provision of either alternate learning models and compensatory services via IEPs. Furthermore, the page notes legal requirements for adjusting educational practices for students with disabilities to a virtual environment. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: Distance Learning, IEP

Guidance and Answers to FAQs on COVID-19 Compensatory Services

Summary: This web page examines compensatory services as a result of COVID-19 and when these services should be included on a student’s IEP. It outlines testing procedures for students with disabilities to determine whether there is a need for such compensatory services. It also overviews what compensatory services may include. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: IEP

Students With IEPs and the 2020-21 School Year

Summary: This presentation informs parents of students with disabilities of changes to IEP procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasizes legal changes to IEP procedures and provisions, as well as noting various resources to help families prepare for virtual IEP meetings and their child’s virtual special education. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: IEP, Family Engagement

Family Engagement

Summary: As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network created a web page to best help parents and families engage with their student’s learning. The web page includes training modules for family members participating in virtual instruction, technical assistance for educators seeking to engage families, COVID-19 resources for parents, and so on. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

Topic: Family Engagement

​Talking to Children About COVID-19

Summary: This web page lists resources advising parents of best practices and resources for talking to children about the COVID-19 pandemic. This page stresses promoting mental health and wellbeing for youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Topic: Mental Health

Answers to FAQs Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

Summary: This web page provides instructions for how special education service providers should contact and connect with families of youth with disabilities. Additionally, this web page discusses the process of holding virtual IEP meetings, as well as potential adjsutments that can be made to IEPs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. FInally, the page notes tracking procedures for IEP progress during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Operated by: Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education

Topic: IEP, Family Engagement