March 23 SELPA Letter to Families

SELPA letter to families

Sent March 23, 2020

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Dear Special Education Families and Caregivers:

We are writing to provide you with an update about Special Education Services during this challenging time. The San Francisco Unified School District Special Education Local Plan Area (SFUSD SELPA) and Special Education Department share your concerns about your children’s education during this period of mandatory school closure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are actively reviewing all available guidance regarding the closure, as well as working closely with District departments regarding remote learning options for our students with disabilities. 

During this period of school closure, SFUSD is not providing instructional services, but is developing a distance learning plan for its general education and special education students.  Pursuant to emergency legislation passed on March 17, 2020 (SB 117), California special education timelines are stopped until regular school sessions reopen. However, during this time, staff will be making their best efforts to provide supplemental learning materials for special education students, comparable to those provided to general education students with appropriate accommodations and modifications. These will be included in the information posted on the Continuity of Learning district webpage.  This page will be updated on March 25 with specific information for students with disabilities and information related to health and social-emotional wellness.

In the event the District moves to remote learning for all students, the Special Education Department is working closely with special education instructional staff and related service providers to evaluate remote learning options for special education service delivery, including online specialized academic instruction and related services. In addition, central office staff will be working with case managers during the week of March 23 to plan for distance learning options, including supports that will be needed for our students with disabilities.   

In the meantime, we have prioritized basic needs and the District is providing free meals.  You can find information about school meal pick up times and locations in addition to other family resources on our district website's COVID-19 Resources webpage.

In addition to the resources for students with disabilities listed at the Continuity of Learning District website, some additional online resources are linked below: 

We recognize that this can be a stressful time for many people, if you or a loved one is in need of support there are several community agency resources:  

  • The Safe & Sound TALK Line provides 24-hour parental stress phone support.  Please call 415-441-KIDS (415-441-5437) if you need support.
  • Trained counselors at SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline can be reached at 1-800-985-5990 or by texting TalkWithUS 66746
  • Contact your physician or your insurance company (if they have a consultation line) to ask health-related questions or to seek mental health support. 

If you have concerns related to your child’s physical or emotional responses to the COVID-19 crisis, the following resource (PDF) shared by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network may be helpful. 

Finally, if your child receives services through Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC), please contact your GGRC social worker by email or phone if you have not done so already.  Further information can be found at GGRC's website.

Please visit our website, for more special education updates as they occur.  

Thank you for your support and patience as we navigate uncertainty in unprecedented times.  


Be well,
Jill Hoogendyk, Chief of Staff
Acting Chief of Special Education 

This page was last updated on April 6, 2020