Question: I’ve heard that parents in some districts received “Remote Learning Plans” last spring and/or this year. What are RLP’s? How are they different from IEP’s?
Last spring, a number of school districts around the country either chose or were required to develop Remote Learning Plans (“RLP” – also commonly referred to as Distance Learning Plans) for students with IEP’s. To date, this has not been required in Rhode Island.
In general terms, the primary purpose of an RLP is to identify the instruction and services that would be provided during distance learning. It is not an IEP, but it is based on a student’s IEP, and is typically created by a special educator who works with the student. An RLP might describe the accommodations and modifications student would receive during distance learning, any special education and related services that school staff would provide directly to a student, the home-school communication plan, how a student’s progress would be measured, etc.
Even though RLP’s are not required in Rhode Island, the concept is a relevant one, and schools should strive to communicate with families about all of foregoing elements of an RLP, regardless of whether they create formal RLP’s or not. As RIDE has advised, during the pandemic, “there should be regular communication with the family to review the IEP and discuss ways to prioritize goals and how they can be best implemented. These communications should provide opportunity for feedback to make necessary adjustments and modifications.”