On March 16, 2020, Metro Nashville Public Schools closed in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. On April 15, 2020, MNPS closed for the rest of the school year. Since then, many MNPS families have heard from their student’s teachers and administrators. In case your family hasn’t heard from your child’s school, here are some things you can do to start communicating with school staff:
1. Get online.
2. Don’t have a laptop computer? Here’s how to get one:
- Request a laptop from MNPS by calling the MNPS Help Desk at 615-269-5956. If you have access to the internet, you can fill out this online form instead.
3. Don’t have internet access at home? Here’s how to get that at no cost for 60 days:
- Comcast Internet Essentials: Currently offering two months of free in-home internet to MNPS students and their families.
- Free Xfinity hotspots: Click the link to find a hotspot near you and to use select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
- Charter/Spectrum: Currently providing free public Wi-Fi for 60 days and free broadband for households with students through college age who do not already have a subscription.
- Charter/Spectrum Public Wi-Fi Hotspots: To enroll in free Wi-Fi for 60 days, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived. If your family receives benefits such as free and reduced lunch, you may qualify for a reduced cost account.
- AT&T: Currently offering free public Wi-Fi for 60 days.
5. Have internet access? Great! Now log in to Schoology to find your child’s classes:
- Go to mnps.schoology.com,
- Have your student log in with their MNPS username and password,
- Find the courses and grades your student is enrolled in.
6. According to MNPS, your child’s teachers should be available at least three days a week during certain times of the day to communicate with you. If you need to talk with your child’s teacher and you have e-mail, send them a message. If you don’t have your teacher’s e-mail address, you can call the Family Information Center and ask for it.
7. The Family Information Center has a person that can help you with your questions about MNPS and remote learning Monday-Friday from 8am-4:30pm at 615-259-4636.
1. What if your child has an IEP or a 504 plan and needs help in order to get online and do work?
- When children with disabilities don’t receive the special education and related services they need, they can get behind.
- If your child needs help with remote learning, you should e-mail your teacher and ask for help.
2. What about related services like speech / language therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy?
- If you have your provider’s e-mail, you can ask whether services can be provided over the computer or over your phone.
- If your child isn’t getting services right now, you should keep a record or any sessions he or she has missed since March 16th, 2020.
3. What if your child can’t get his or her work done without a special education teacher to help him or her?
- Find out what your child’s most recent present levels of performance are.
- Do you have your child’s special education teacher or case manager’s e-mail address? If you do, e-mail your child’s teacher for your child’s most MAP, STAR, FastBridge, or other progress monitoring score testing. If your child had an IEP annual review meeting recently, make sure you keep the copy of the IEP and information from your child’s present levels of performance on his or her IEP.
- When school begins again, ask your special education teacher to get new present levels of performance. This will tell you if your child has gotten behind in his or her learning while he or she was not getting special education.
- If your child has a functional behavior assessment, behavior plan, student success plan, or has an IEP fthat addresses behavioral needs, make sure to ask for present levels of performance for behavior too!
4. Once school starts back, and if you find out he or she has fallen behind in his or her learning because of a lack of special education, you should ask for an IEP meeting to talk about it.
5. At an IEP meeting in the fall, you should tell the team about your concerns and ask about Compensatory Education, which might be needed to catch your child up to where he or she would be, if they had gotten special education over the school closure.
If you have any questions or want more information, you can call the Education Rights Project at 615-862-8996.