Many students with PANS/PANDAS have IEPs. During this period, many schools a being closed for extended periods completely while others are closing temporarily to make plans for remote teaching. The U.S. Department of Education lays out Questions and Answers on the states’ responsibilities for children with disabilities. Below we have pasted in two questions covered in the document. One is, if a school closes due to COVID-19 and provides no education to the general ed students, do they have to provide services to those with IEPs. The answer is No. The second is if the school is closed but providing educational services to the general ed students, do they have to provide those with disabilities educational services too? The answer is yes, to the best of their ability, under FAPE. Please read through the entire document as there are many other related topics covered including information on what happens when the child has COVID-19 and can’t attend.
“If an LEA closes its schools to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, and does not provide any educational services to the general student population, then an LEA would not be required to provide services to students with disabilities during that same period of time. Once school resumes, the LEA must make every effort to provide special education and related services to the child in accordance with the child’s individualized education program (IEP) or, for students entitled to FAPE under Section 504, consistent with a plan developed to meet the requirements of Section 504. The Department understands there may be exceptional circumstances that could affect how a particular service is provided. In addition, an IEP Team and, as appropriate to an individual student with a disability, the personnel responsible for ensuring FAPE to a student for the purposes of Section 504, would be required to make an individualized determination as to whether compensatory services are needed under applicable standards and requirements.
If an LEA continues to provide educational opportunities to the general student population during a school closure, the school must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to the same opportunities, including the provision of FAPE. (34 CFR §§ 104.4, 104.33 (Section 504) and 28 CFR § 35.130 (Title II of the ADA)). SEAs, LEAs, and schools must ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s IEP developed under IDEA, or a plan developed under Section 504. (34 CFR §§ 300.101 and 300.201 (IDEA), and 34 CFR § 104.33 (Section 504)).”