Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Paul W. Cascella

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


As research on student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to emerge, there remains a dearth of research on students with IEPs and how their caregivers experienced remote learning in a pandemic school year. This study examined the academic trajectories of students with IEPs and their caregivers’ perspectives towards distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures included academic data extracted from the 2018–2019 school year and 2020–2021 school year and a survey of parental and caregiver opinions of the pandemic’s impact. Student academic data (N = 270) revealed a significant decrease in reading but not math trajectories. Notable differences were found after disaggregating demographic factors, specifically ethnicity (Hispanic or not Hispanic), English learner status, socioeconomic status, Title I school status, disability category, and percentage in the general education setting. Survey findings (N = 46) indicated diverse positive and negative opinions about the pandemic’s specific impact on families, children, and schools, along with technology, children’s socialization, teachers and school staff actions, and caregivers’ knowledge and abilities to address their children’s needs. Implications are discussed along with recommendations for district administrators and educators and future directions for research.