CDS Families

For Families:

April 10, 2020

To families receiving CDS services:

I hope this message finds all of you healthy and safe.

Given recent communications from Governor Mills and Commissioner Makin, CDS will continue to suspend in-person services, for children ages 3-5, through the end of this academic year. As summer approaches and more details become available, CDS will determine the best way in which to address Extended School Year and other services.

Suspension of in-person services to infants and toddlers, birth through 2, will also continue until in-person services can resume without jeopardizing the health and safety of children, families and providers.

The current restrictions on in-person activities has presented challenges in evaluating and determining the eligibility of children who have recently been referred to CDS. However, individual child and family circumstances may all some or all of the necessary steps to be taken.

For infants and toddlers, birth through 2, developmental screenings and developmental evaluations may be completed by phone or via tele-practice. If an infant or toddler is determined to be eligible for services, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) may also be developed via tele-practice. Families may choose to postpone screenings and evaluations until those activities are available in-person.

Because determining the eligibility of children ages 3-5 is a more complicated process, it may not be possible to conduct the necessary evaluations and observations for the majority of children via tele-practice. In these situations, some activities may be conducted via tele-practice, but the determination of eligibility may be delayed until necessary activities can be conducted in-person. In a few situations, information contained in the referral (i.e. results of evaluations that have already been conducted) may allow the team to determine eligibility and to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Thank you to all of you for your patience and understanding.

Roy K. Fowler

State Director, Child Development Services

Maine Department of Education

 

 

April 6, 2020

A Message to Families Receiving CDS Services, from the CDS State Director

I hope that this message finds all of you healthy and safe and would also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all of you for your patience and understanding during the current situation. CDS staff and its contracted providers sincerely care about the young children to whom they provide services and their families and are committed to continuing the provision of valuable supports and services, to the best of their abilities, under the current circumstances.

We anticipate that remote provision of supports and services will continue at least through the end of April and possible beyond. At this point, every family should have been contacted by CDS to discuss ways in which supports and services can be provided based on each child’s and each family’s individual circumstances.

Although some families have chosen not to receive supports and services during this period, those who have should be receiving those supports and services via tele-practice, emails, phone calls, the US mail, In some cases, not all services may be available and those that are may not be available at the frequency and intensity identified on children’s plans. When the current situation is resolved and CDS (and the world) return to normal, IFSP and IEP teams will convene to determine if additional services are necessary and, if so, what the appropriate frequency and intensity would be.

If you have not yet been contacted by CDS, I encourage to you contact your regional CDS site. Their contact information can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/cds/contact

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding and please stay safe and healthy and enjoy this unexpected opportunity to spend time with your families.

Roy K. Fowler
CDS State Director

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March 19, 2020

To Families receiving CDS services,

Thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging times. I think that all of us understand that this situation is new to all of us and much of how we now live our lives is being figured out as we go. How CDS continues to support children and families during this period is one of those things that changes day-to-day.

While the health and well-being of children and families is always very important to CDS, under the current circumstances, it must take priority of special education services. Because of this, CDS has ‘closed’ until Friday, March 27th and likely beyond that date. However, CDS staff and contracted providers have been identifying ways in which they can continue to provide supports and services to children and families via the internet, phone calls, emails, and even materials sent by mail. CDS realizes that supports and services provided by these methods may not be appropriate for all children and families. In these situations, CDS will continue to explore other potential options.

Once the current situation passes, CDS will work with families to determine what services are necessary to ensure that children continue to make progress toward their annual goals.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. Please stay safe.

 

Roy K. Fowler

State Director, Child Development Services

Maine Department of Education