CLOSE Williamson County Schools librarian Julie Boggess started aFacebook group to read books aloud for kids out of school during the coronavirus pandemic. Nashville TennesseanPatrick Riccards received an email Tuesday from his New Jersey school district about its plan for special-education services during the coronavirus shutdown. But what should have brought him comfort instead caused dismay.The district wrote that its special-education teachers would modify online lessons and host virtual check-ins with students in the new world of distance learning. But to Riccards, an education advocate, that wasn’t enough. He’d already watched his wife struggle for two days to help their 13-year-old son, who has severe dyslexia and is several grade levels behind in reading, access the district’s online materials. The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School also announced it was canceling all government-mandated meetings for special-needs students until schools reopen – which might not be until fall.”I get that this is the first week. But everything we have fought for in my son’s (individualized education plan) now gets put on hold,” Riccards said. School unlikely all spring: Will states need to hold kids back, institute summer school?As districts scramble to establish distance learning plans for long-term school closures, they’re struggling to provide services to students with disabilities and those with other exceptional circumstances. It’s a challenge with broad implications, tied to financial consequences for


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