Special Education Learning and Supports During the School Closure

The Mayfield Central School District will provide safe and rigorous academically-based learning for students throughout the COVID-19 school closure. 

Teachers continue to prepare flexible learning opportunities for each of our students during the school closure. These are being delivered in a variety ways and are being differentiated in order to meet student needs. 

Following is some information you may find useful regarding continuation of instruction and related services, and how we will facilitate necessary meetings and evaluations during the school closure.  

Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated as we have worked through this challenging time together. 

Please contact Mayfield’s Director of Student Services Jennifer Sanford, 518-661-8274 or sanford.jennifer@mayfieldcsd.org, with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Continuity of Instruction

Throughout the school closure teachers will prepare flexible learning opportunities for all students. These will be delivered in a variety ways and will be differentiated in order to meet the needs of all students.

  • We are utilizing a variety of approaches, including virtual and distance learning activities, instructional phone calls and check-ins, as well as more traditional pen and paper assignments or packets. 
  • These variations of a more “traditional” instruction approach may present additional challenges for many of our younger students, as well as some of our students with disabilities.  
  • We are committed to doing our best to address each child’s needs. To achieve this, we may need to adjust delivery based on individual student strengths and weaknesses.
  • We are also working to minimize any access issues related to internet service, access to devices or challenges communicating with staff and providers. 
  • Your child’s special education teacher(s), general education teacher(s) and related service providers should have been in touch with you to discuss a schedule and plan for supplemental instruction or any related service delivery.  

Learn more about our plan for remote learning during the school closure.

Online Platforms and Teletherapy Services—Student Privacy and Confidentiality 

The district has worked to identify and utilize instructional tools and platforms that meet both FERPA , New York’s Education Law 2-d  and other federal and state laws designed to protect students and their personally identifiable data and information from improper disclosure.

  • The use of distance learning or online and virtual instruction and therapy does not violate FERPA, as most instruction and communication discloses only information that has been deemed as “directory information” by the district.
  • Directory information includes a student’s:
    • name
    • address
    • telephone listing
    • date and place of birth
    • major field of study
    • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
    • weight and height of members of athletic teams
    • dates of attendance
    • degrees and awards received
    • the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student

Related Services

Related services such as physical and occupational therapy, speech and counseling may be provided via teletherapy (video/audio and phone communication.) This may involve the use of smartphones, tablets, laptop/computers and other portable devices. 

  • Your child’s provider will communicate with you about the approach they would like to use to deliver services to your child. 
  • Services may be provided in a group/individual setting.
  • The duration of therapy (minutes) may need to be changed due to staff/provider and student availability.
  • Students may receive related services by participating in online communication/virtual meetings, computer-based instruction, telephone instruction or instruction through written materials, or a combination of any of the above, based on the judgment and professional discretion of the related service provider.
  • If there are materials or resources the student will need for the session, the provider will either share them on-screen, through the designated platform, or they will be sent via U.S. mail or email before the session. 


The district is committed to providing parents/guardians with meaningful opportunities to communicate their concerns and to participate in the on-going implementation and development of their child’s IEP or learning plan. 

  • Throughout the school closure, all meetings will be scheduled via telephone conference or video conference to comply with existing health and safety guidelines.
  • If meetings will be convened using a video link platform, you will be provided the necessary invitation information to join.  Alternative options are available to accommodate those who are unable to participate in the proposed format. 


Our district staff will work with families of students to determine the best way to proceed with new evaluations needed to determine eligibility, supplemental evaluations and re-evaluation (every three years) that would require face-to-face assessment.  

  • Given the situation and measures in place to minimize risk of exposure to the coronavirus, face-to-face assessments or observations are discouraged. 
  • Evaluations or assessments that do not require face-to-face assessment or observation may proceed, as appropriate, with parent/guardian consent.  If your child requires an evaluation, for any reason, the school psychologist will reach out to you to discuss. 
  • Jennifer Sanford, Mayfield’s director of student services, is recommending postponing all evaluations with parental consent until they can take place in person. Families will be contacted to discuss this. 

Extended School Year (ESY) and Compensatory Instruction or Services

When the COVID-19 crisis and school closure ends, the district will conduct program reviews, as necessary, to determine how the delivery of special education and related services to your child may have been impacted by the school closure and whether substantial regression has or is likely to have occurred as a result. 

  • We will consider whether the provision of compensatory or supplemental instruction or services is necessary or appropriate. 
  • Decisions relating to compensatory education will be made on a case by case basis, in light of the unique needs of each child, taking into account the duration of the disruption, missed special education supports and/or services, and the cumulative impact of these factors on each student’s progress and achievement.
  • Decisions related to Extended School Year (ESY) eligibility will be made upon the regression/recoupment standards established by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  

How Families Can Support Student’s Teletherapy and Distance/Remote and Virtual Learning

While your child is receiving distance or instruction through telephone conference, video conference, virtual instruction through an online platform, or teletherapy services, there are some expectations and guidelines we ask you to follow in order to best facilitate these supports for your child and for our staff and providers:   

  • Situate your child in a setting that is as distraction-free as possible during any instruction, communication or teletherapy sessions. 
  • Recognize that the instructional session or therapy is for the child(ren). Please save your questions or communication for an appropriate time or manner so the instruction or services being provided are not disrupted.
  • Only remain in the vicinity of instruction or therapy if the therapist or teacher requests it (such as to help your child remain focused, complete activities, to receive demonstration or training from the provider/teacher for modeling or carryover into the home setting and to engage in any necessary communication with the provider/teacher after the session.)
  • Provide your child with headphones or earbuds, as needed, to help filter out noise and to provide a more private session (especially recommended for any counseling sessions.)
  • Do not record (video or audio) instructional sessions or therapy sessions. If you feel you need additional information or assistance, either you or your child can contact the teacher or provider for additional assistance.  
  • Contact therapist, provider or teacher in a timely manner your child is unable to attend or participate and to alternate options for delivery of instruction/services.   

Resources for Families

IDEAs That Work  — Continuity of Learning During COVID-19  This webpage, curated by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), includes information, tools, and resources to help educators, parents and families, and related service providers meet the educational, behavioral, and emotional needs of children and youth with disabilities through remote and virtual learning.  Please note: This information is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute an endorsement of the website or other sources posted on that site.