December 29, 2020

Three Tips for Preparing for Second Semester — During a Pandemic

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We met on the podcast at the beginning of the semester – what was that eight years ago?- to discuss Preparing for the First Semester.  It felt like a more important semester but not the beast that it actually became!  It seemed natural therefore to give you some suggestions for this important second semester.  This week’s podcast is called “Three Tips for Preparing for Second Semester — During a Pandemic.” 

We’ll first talk about looking at data from multiple sources – like school, outside therapists, and home.  If that data doesn’t exist or seems incomplete, I provide strategies for creating something objective to communicate to the rest of the team.  

Then, we’ll talk about how to communicate that information.  We’ll start by brainstorming additional things that could be going better – like more inclusive opportunities, additional social opportunities, access to in-person learning, different accommodations or modifications, better use of Supplemental Aids and Services.  I’ll then guide you to think critically about it to gracefully communicate with the IEP team on areas of growth opportunity and improvement.   I’ll detail some thoughts about student-centered advocacy and interest-based negotiation, two really important skills in team collaboration.  

Finally, we’ll talk about Compensatory Education, the elephant in the room.  Maybe after you listen, you’ll think of her as a mouse!  I share what the USDOE has said about IEP services during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a couple of quotes from the DOE about CompEd and finish the episode with specific tasks that you can undertake to prepare for your CompEd claim.  

I get way detailed in this can’t miss episode!  I hope you’ll join me!  

Join me for the 2021 New Year’s SPED Parent Challenge here:

Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak. March 2020 (PDF) (

Supplemental Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools (PDF) (

Episode 4: Starting the School Year On the Right Foot:

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Part 03: The 6W's of the Ashley Barlow Co - The Who

Calling all parents, teachers, school staff, self advocates, disability organization staff, doctors, therapists, coaches, tutors, grandparents, babysitters, community organization staff, volunteers, … Calling anyone that supports a student with a disability!!!


Parents of a child in special education are exhausted. Teachers and school staff are about the busiest professionals in the workforce. Nobody has time for in-person trainings, and thanks to COVID-19, few can safely access in-person trainings right now! 

Part 05: The 6W's of the Ashley Barlow Co - The how

How’s this all going to work? This is the great part. You don’t need to worry about how the content will arrive, especially if you join my mailing list (link in bio), like me on Facebook and Youtube, follow me on Instagram, and subscribe to the podcast.