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Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities Relocating to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico

Date: 
02/01/2018
Author: 
DESE

This memo provides school districts with guidance about planning for and responding to the needs of students with disabilities and students experiencing trauma as a result of natural disasters who have relocated to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands following the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. These students may be residing with friends or relatives and may have myriad needs, including disabilities that require special education and related services, or the effects of trauma that require other supportive services. Massachusetts schools have welcomed these students, recognizing they need a safe and stable educational environment. This memo addresses how school districts may meet their obligations to provide students transferring from Puerto Rico, many of whom are English learners (ELs), with timely access to a free appropriate public education and other relevant supports and services. 

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