Special Education Reopening Letter For Families

The following letter was sent on Aug. 24, 2020 by Director of Special Education Caralee Kardash to families/guardians of students attending our Special Education program for the 20-21 school year. 

Dear Parent/Guardian:
We are pleased to announce that Capital Region BOCES Special Education division will be providing in-person or remote learning for the students in our schools and programs this fall. Our administrators, maintenance workers, faculty and staff have been working tirelessly this summer to plan and prepare.

Classes for students in all of our programs will begin on Monday, Sept. 14. Please note that this is a change from our previously scheduled Sept. 8 start date.

While we can assure you that our plans for reopening school are based on all state and federal guidance, we realize you still may have questions or concerns about health, safety and instruction. At the Reopening Student and Family Resources page you will find answers to many of the questions you may have, including details about:

  • Required daily health screening for all students—this must be completed by 7:15 a.m. each morning before students arrive at our schools/programs (steps to follow for students or parents/guardians on behalf of their child are listed on the informational flyer included with this message.)
  • Wearing of face coverings—all students, staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times at school. This does not apply to students who are medically unable to wear a face covering.
  • Social distancing—in addition to face coverings, everyone in the school building/program will keep a social distance of 6-feet, as this is possible.

If you missed last week’s parent meetings, you can watch a recording of them online.

For in-person learning, parents should expect that students will be receiving their instruction and therapies that are structured to keep health and safety in mind at all times. Students will also be using technology as part of their daily instruction. This will ensure their familiarity with the tools they would need to use if we need to move again to remote learning for all students. Finally, students will be given a remote learning schedule that will be followed should schools close for any reason.

For remote learning, parents should expect daily, scheduled, live instruction specially designed for the student. Supplemental assignments or activities will also be provided. Small group or individual sessions will take place two to three times per week and focus on reinforcing skills, re-teaching and progress monitoring of IEP goals. Teachers will provide families with scheduled office hours to answer questions and other conversations. Students will also engage in their related services remotely. Parents should expect that any necessary learning materials will be dropped off by a teacher or provider on a regular basis.

It is important to note that whether your child is attending school this fall in person or remotely, instruction will be prioritized and aligned to the New York State standards. Also of note, attendance will be taken on a daily basis and remains critical to both learning opportunities. Should absenteeism exceed district set thresholds, communication will come from school officials to address any concerns.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our reopening team at crbcovid19@neric.org or your child’s principal with any questions you may still have:

We look forward to welcoming your child back to school on Sept. 14! Please enjoy the last few days of summer.


Caralee Kardash, Director of Special Education