Newsroom Article

Coronavirus and Schools: Communications with Parents Concerning Virtual ESY


Posted on in Press Releases and Announcements

We are working on ESY and want to know if we are allowed to send a letter to parents asking if they are interested in ESY to get an idea of staffing and other issues. We would then only send NOREPs to the families who respond they want their child. I want to check if we need to send the NOREP first to all families and then the letter. It seems we might have to offer the services in a NOREP prior to sending a letter asking if they are interested. Thoughts. The letter we are proposing would read as follows, understanding that if we send it after the NOREP, it would need to be revised:

Dear [Insert parent name],

At this point in time, the district is moving forward with plans to offer extended school year (ESY) to eligible students through a model of virtual special education similar to that which they are currently receiving. [Insert student name] has been found eligible for ESY for the summer of 2020. Given the current circumstances, I am reaching out to you in order to see if your plans are for [student name] to attend. The dates for ESY are July 6, 2020 to July 30, 2020. As a reminder, ESY is not mandatory.

Thank you for your assistance.

You will need to send ESY NOREPs to all parents of ESY-eligible students, offering virtual programming even if the parents are not interested in having their children participate. As with the “continuity of education” NOREPs you have already sent, your ESY NOREP will need to identify specifically the subject of instruction the student will be receiving  (e.g., “reading,” “social skills”), the modality or modalities of instruction (e.g., “synchronous and a synchronous lessons,” “online assignments, with teacher support during office hours”), and a minimum amount of time for each subject (e.g., “three hours weekly” for all combined reading activities). 

You certainly can send a letter of the sort you are proposing, but that letter should be sent after the NOREPs are issued. We recommend the following revisions to the letter you are proposing, and we recommend distributing it as an email whenever possible:

The district is moving forward with plans to offer extended school year (ESY) virtually to eligible students, in a manner similar to that which students are currently receiving. You have received or will soon receive a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement describing the virtual ESY services we are recommending for your child. We are surveying the parents of our ESY-eligible students to determine whether they intend to have their children participate in ESY virtually this summer. The dates for ESY are July 6, 2020 to July 30, 2020. Please respond “yes” to this email if you plan to have your child to participate in virtual ESY this summer, and “no” if you do not.