New resource helps districts provide legally compliant online learning

By: | November 16, 2020

LRP Media Group, a recognized leader in the special education publishing industry, has released Virtual Instruction for Students With Disabilities: Meeting IDEA and Section 504 Mandates. This 96-page pamphlet by attorney Betsey Helfrich is designed to help districts navigate the legal aspects of virtual learning for IDEA- and Section 504-eligible students.

Virtual learning was already reshaping K-12 education before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with more students than ever receiving instruction online, it’s important that administrators and educators know how to apply the IDEA and Section 504 regulations to virtual programs. This pamphlet shows districts how to:

  • Determine whether a virtual instruction vendor can meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Develop nondiscriminatory standards for enrollment in virtual programs or courses.
  •  Track the implementation of IEPs and Section 504 plans for students receiving virtual instruction.
  • Ensure that students with disabilities can access virtual instruction programs and courses.

The pamphlet also identifies the information districts should include in contracts with virtual instruction providers, reviews the Section 504 notices they need to include in their virtual policies, and discusses the factors they need to consider when developing procedures for virtual instruction.

“The expansion of virtual learning during the COVID-19 school closures has created uncertainty about districts’ obligations under Section 504 and the IDEA,” said Julie J. Kline, Esq., LRP’s executive director of education content. “The tips in this new book help districts recognize potential legal pitfalls of virtual instruction and provides best practices on how to avoid them.”

The pamphlet also includes six sample forms and tools, including an Application for Virtual Learning and a Flowchart for Enrollment in Virtual Instruction.

Virtual Instruction for Students With Disabilities: Meeting IDEA and Section 504 Mandates is available for purchase from LRP Publications’ online store.

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