AACTE Recommendation to Support PK-12 Students with Disabilities During COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Disabled schoolboy on wheelchair using digital tablet in library

The following AACTE Statement was sent to the National Governors Association.

During the health emergency of COVID-19, AACTE is encouraging its members, as well as states and districts, to explore partnerships between district and educator preparation programs to address the increased workforce demands for special educators in our nation’s schools. In particular, we urge stakeholders to

Identify opportunities for special education teacher candidates to continue their contributions to educational opportunities for students with disabilities (e.g. clinical practice opportunities or paraprofessionals in temporary positions) for the duration of the impact of COVID-19 on our school system.

Some possibilities of engaging special education teacher candidates may include

  • Participating in online-learning/e-learning/distance learning/virtual learning environments,
  • Supporting or coaching parents as they navigate online learning for their students with disabilities,
  • Contributing to the provision of services in the IEP of students with disabilities when it requires one-to-one support or one-on-one tutoring.

Candidates must not be considered the teacher of record, rather they should work under the supervision of the special education teacher designated by the district. Eligible candidates are those who were in clinical placements within schools before school closures and can provide consistent standards-based instruction to students with disabilities following the IEP goals established by the IEP team. States are encouraged to follow current and future guidance from the Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. We look forward to working with you on this critical challenge.

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