Dear Friends and Colleagues:
This evening, we bring you our updated FAQ on student and special education issues in light of the COVID-19 school closure.
On March 27, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) issued Emergency Rules on Remote Learning Days, 23 Ill. Admin. Code § 5.10, regarding the provision of educational services to students during the mandated statewide school closure, as well as Remote Learning Recommendations and updated FAQ guidance for school districts. The Emergency Rules and guidance documents provide further clarification on Governor Pritzker’s March 27, 2020, Executive Order 2020-15 regarding the creation of Remote Learning Days and Remote Learning Planning Days during the mandated school closure.
Specifically, starting March 31, 2020, all Illinois school districts must transition from Act of God days (March 17 through March 30), to Remote Learning Days and Remote Learning Planning Days (March 31 and thereafter). During Remote Learning Days and Remote Learning Planning Days, which now constitute pupil attendance days, districts must provide educational instruction to students remotely by implementing an E-Learning Plan or adopting a Remote Learning Day Plan approved by the district’s superintendent.
HLERK issued its initial guidance on special education and student matters during the COVID-19 closure on March 16. Our updated FAQ, available here, incorporates both federal and state guidance regarding the provision of services to students, including students eligible for special education and related services, during this school closure due to COVID-19. In this updated FAQ, we note the specific FAQs where we either updated our March 16 guidance or added a new FAQ in response to the latest guidance and legal developments.
If you have questions or are unclear about anything in this FAQ, please call us. You can reach us 24/7.