Special Education and Education Issues

Extended Services to Transition Age Students

The pandemic wreaked havoc on educational programs for many students. For students who were transition age and turning 22 the impact was enormous. Recent legislation enacted by the Illinois General Assembly were designed to ameliorate the unique challenges faced by this group of students.

HB40 impacts students who turn 22 during the school year by allowing them to continue to receive special education services until the end of that school year rather than until the day before their 22nd birthday.

HB2748 titled “COVID-19 post-secondary transition recovery eligibility”, provides an extended period of IEP services for students who turned 22 during the time in which the student’s in-person instruction, services or activities were suspended for a period of 3 months or more during the school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who fit these criteria are eligible for services through the end of the regular 2021-2022 school year.

Who does not qualify for these services:

  • Students who are no longer residents of the district they attended when they turned 22.
  • School districts are not required to resume private their private therapeutic day or residential services for students who have aged out of the program or when funding for the placement is no longer available.

IEP teams are required to work on the goals that were in place when the student turned 22.  At their discretion IEP teams can revise goals and set priorities as needed to meet the student’s transition needs.

Returning to School:  New CDC Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools on July 9, 2021, www. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools

  • Return to in person learning is a priority
  • Promoting vaccination is important.
  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physically distancing cannot be maintained. * [ Schools are still working on the details of how
  • CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other strategies, such as indoor masking.
  • Screening, testing, ventilation, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contract tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Stay home when they have any signs of infectious illness.
  • Many schools serve children under 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies consistently) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of high community transmission levels.

The Illinois State Board of Education has fully adopted these guidelines.

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About Micki Moran

Micki Moran is the founding partner of The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd. She dedicates her practice to providing legal assistance to children and families who are in need of representation in the areas of special education, disability law, juvenile and young adult criminal law, abuse and neglect, guardianship, and mental health issues. Micki's practice is founded on the principle that children and their families require and deserve excellent legal representation with a multidisciplinary approach that works with multiple systems of care and creates communities that support and improve the quality of all peoples' lives.
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