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Special Education Classes Can Be Held In-Person this Summer

Special Education Classes Can Be Held In-Person this Summer

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing necessary special education to take place in-person this summer.


Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that will allow necessary special education instruction to take place in-person across the state this summer on June 5. Districts will still have to follow state and federal safety guidelines, but this new order could eliminate the anxiety some parents are feeling about what will happen to their kids in July and August. This executive order reverses one Cuomo signed that required all summer school sessions to be remote. Check with your district to see what they’re offering for special education this summer.

At the beginning of June, the NYC Department of Education announced it is offering remote summer school for all students. It’s unclear if the DOE will change its stance for New York City students in special education. The original summer school programming for NYC students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) included the following:

  • Students in any grade with 12-month IEPs will participate in remote summer school five days a week for up to 5½ hours a day from Wednesday, July 1 through Thursday, Aug. 13
  • Students who are receiving or eligible to receive these services will be contacted by their school
  • 1-to-1 check-ins will be part of the summer programs for middle and high school students

There are approximately 200,000 kids receiving special education in New York City and more than 500,000 students receiving special education in New York state. It’s unclear how in-person special education will work, and it’s unclear what “necessary” education means. But when it announced remote summer school, the NYC DOE promised it would continue sharing resources for parents as they become available. You can still receive a remote learning device for your child for summer school by filling out this form. These tips will help your child transition to online summer school, too. New York state dropped all normal grading procedures during the school year (and schools closed for the remainder of the year back in May—remember that?!) because of coronavirus closures, and this might happen for summer school as well.



The transition to remote learning can be uniquely difficult for students with special needs, which may have played a role in Cuomo’s decision.

You can keep up with Cuomo’s decisions through his daily press briefings, and stay informed on the latest numbers in New York to help you make decisions for your family this summer. Going out will introduce more risk than staying home. If you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus, especially if you’ve been to crowded areas or to a recent protest, New York has more than 750 testing sites where you can get tested quickly and easily. Visit the Department of Health’s website for more information.

Need ideas for how to have summer fun at home when your kids are done with summer school sessions? Source inspiration from these 25 tips for recreating classic summer experiences in your own backyard, check out these examples of playground equipment for kids of all ages, and make sure you brush up on safety tips for going in pools and visiting beaches. This summer will look a little different than normal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Safe Summer Fun as New York Reopens

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is an assistant editor and a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. When she's not focused on writing special needs and education features, you can find her petting someone else's dog. See More

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