Special Education Rights and Services During COVID

Protecting our clients has always been our highest priority. As families are dealing with school closures and the impact of COVID-19, we want to provide a help where we can.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, we all need reliable advice and information.
If you and your family need help, please reach out.

Free Parent Webinars;

Virtual ARD Representation;

Parent Resource for Guidance during COVID

Webinar Mental Health During School Closures
Webinar Special Education During Closures


Texas Free Lunch Finder

Texas School Meal Finder

Search by state or address to find Texas school sites providing free meals during school closures.

Texas Education Agency Guidance

Schools are required to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students in the district or school who receive special education and related services. Schools that close campuses and establish virtual learning environments or other alternative educational delivery methods, must ensure that planning addresses the provision of all services required in each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), including both instructional and related services. TEA Initial Guidance

Latest TEA Guidance [May 27, 2020]


Instructional Continuity Framework Resources from TEA

Residential School Guidance

Planning for Instructional Continuity During High Absenteeism and School Closures

source: tea.texas.gov

Instructional Continuity Resources by Region

Find region-specific guidance and support for instructional continuity. Each Education Service Center provides digital and non-digital resources to help with the transition to at-home instruction.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC has issued guidance on best practices to avoid exposure to COVID-19, including thoroughly washing hands and avoiding close contact. In addition CDC has issued guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools.

Schools, working together with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Schools serve students, staff, and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school setting, often sharing spaces, equipment, and supplies.

Information about COVID-19 in children is somewhat limited, but the information that is available suggests that children with confirmed COVID-19 generally had mild symptoms. Person-to-person spread from or to children, as among adults, is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

However, a small percentage of children have been reported to have more severe illness. People who have serious chronic medical conditions are believed to be at higher risk. Despite lower risk of serious illness among most children, children with COVID-19-like symptoms should avoid contact with others who might be at higher risk, such as older adults and adults with serious chronic medical conditions.

U.S. Department of Education

Department guidance page for School and COVID-19 related issues.

Latest Department of ED Guidance [March 21, 2020] Addressing Serving Children with Disabilities during COVID-19 national emergency

Supple Fact Sheet 3.21.20 FINAL (3)

Supplemental Guidance from The Department of Education

Initial Questions and Answers Guidance by The Department of Education

Department of Education Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility



Schools must continue, working under the constraints of the pandemic circumstances, to ensure that students with disabilities are provided with a free and appropriate public education that includes challenging and ambitious goals commensurate with a student’s abilities.

Latest COPAA Guidance [March 21, 2020]

COPAA faq_final-3-31-2020

Rights Under IDEA During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Disability Rights Texas

Coronavirus and Rights of Students with Disabilities (March 12, 2020)

School District Specific Information

We have developed a centralized list of Texas school-district COVID-19 information.

Austin Area

Austin ISD https://www.austinisd.org/student-health/coronavir…
Round Rock ISD https://roundrockisd.org/coronavirus/
Leander ISD https://support.leanderisd.org/support/covid-19/
Lake Travis ISD https://www.ltisdschools.org/Page/3868
Dripping Springs ISD https://www.dsisdtx.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=…
Eanes ISD https://www.eanesisd.net/coronavirus

Greater DFW

Alba-Golden ISD https://www.agisd.com/o/Alba%20Golden/live_feed/#l…
Alvarado ISD https://www.alvaradoisd.net/news/what_s_new/school…
Dallas ISD https://www.dallasisd.org/covid19
Lewisville ISD https://www.lisd.net/coronavirus
Mansfield ISD https://www.mansfieldisd.org/
McKinney ISD https://www.mckinneyisd.net/health-services-wellness/coronavirus…
Plano ISD https://www.pisd.edu/healthupdate

Greater Houston Area

Houston ISD https://www.houstonisd.org/HealthAlerts
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD https://www.cfisd.net/en/parents-students/health/c…
Katy ISD https://www.katyisd.org/Pages/Katy-ISD-Health-Updat…
Conroe ISD https://www.conroeisd.net/department/health-servic…
Klein ISD https://kleinisd.net/teaching_learning/special_pro…
Channelview ISD https://www.cvisd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3…
Clear Creek ISD https://ccisd.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=645487&pag…
Dickinson ISD https://www.dickinsonisd.org/page/article/488
Fort Bend ISD https://www.fortbendisd.com/site/default.aspx?Page…
Friendswood ISD https://myfisd.com/health-services-department/
Galena Park ISD https://www.galenaparkisd.com/site/default.aspx?Pa…
Hempstead ISD https://www.hempsteadisd.org/190839_2?articleID=50…
Magnolia ISD https://www.magnoliaisd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?u…
Sante Fe ISD https://tx02215329.schoolwires.net/Page/3867
Sheldon ISD https://www.sheldonisd.com/apps/news/article/11823…
Tomball ISD https://www.tomballisd.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uR…
Willis ISD https://www.willisisd.org/Page/8416

San Antonio Area

Alamo Heights ISD https://www.ahisd.net/news/what_s_new/update_on_c_o…
Boerne ISD https://www.boerneisd.net/site/default.aspx?PageTy…
East Central ISD https://www.ecisd.net/Page/12262
Edgewood ISD https://www.eisd.net/cms/one.aspx?portalId=1215207…
Northside ISD https://www.nisd.net/news/important-health-update-…
North East ISD https://www.neisd.net/criticalupdates

Rio Grande Valley Area

Santa Rosa ISD https://www.srtx.org/
La Feria ISD https://www.laferiaisd.org/
Brownsville ISD https://www.bisd.us/PDF/08_PressRoom/2019-2020/08_M…
Harlingen CISD https://www.hcisd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID…


Texas School Closures

Schools are closed across Texas for the 2019-2020 academic year per the Governor’s Executive Order.

Many school districts are still in the process of planning for fall 2020.

What Shields Law Firm is Doing

We are telecommuting and meeting virtually or telephonically with current clients. We have changed our in-person consultation policy to web-based or phone consultations. As our work requires in-person meetings or conferences, we will maintain social distancing.

In response to COVID-19’s impact on schools and Students with Disabilities:

  • Parent Resource Page
    We have developed this web page to provide state-wide and school-district specific resources and information.
  • Virtual ARD Representation
    We represented many families last spring during their virtual ARDs. We will continue that representation this fall.
  • Free Parent Webinars
    We are holding free parent webinars to address parent issues and concerns during this time. Join us for our next webinar.

We are updating as new guidance emerges, but please reach out if you believe a resource is missing.

Thank you for your understanding while we navigate this challenge.