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How Coronavirus and COVID-19 May Affect IEPs and 504s

If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, you may have questions about how they are affected by COVID-19.

Federal law provides for IEPs and 504 plans, which allow for classroom accommodations and extra support for public school students with learning challenges and disabilities. Many childhood cancer patients and survivors qualify for these services because of their disease and the side effects of treatment.

If your child has an IEP or 504 plan, you may have questions about how they are affected by coronavirus-related school closings.

If your child has an IEP or 504 plan, you may have questions about how they are affected by COVID-19.

Parents are encouraged to work collaboratively with the school team to meet your child’s educational needs.

COVID-19 IEP and 504 Plans and Public Schools

Some important information to know about public schools:

  • If the school provides educational opportunities to the general student population, it must make sure students with disabilities have equal access.
  • The school should make sure each student with a disability is provided with special education and related services, such as speech therapy, to the greatest extent possible without endangering the health of the student or school staff.
  • Special education and related services may be provided online or over the phone. Many of the accommodations that students need can be provided online such as extended time on tests, modified assignments, and having materials read aloud.
  • Many school meetings are now being held virtually if the school team or parent is not comfortable meeting in person. Evaluations and re-evaluations that do not require an “in person” meeting may take place online, so long as a student’s parent or legal guardian consents. These same principles apply to 504 plans. Some schools may choose to hold these virtually as well. Parents and guardians should ask the school about new procedures or attendance options.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s academic supports or progress, please contact your treatment center’s school program or liaison for assistance.

Many online resources are available to help you. Ask your child’s teachers for suggestions.


Reviewed: December 2021