Don't forget about students with disabilities when COVID-19 closes our schools.
Teachers all over are scrambling to transition from delivering instruction in their classroom to delivering it online. But is this equitable for ALL students?
The U.S. Department of Education gave some guidance to K-12 districts about closing for COVID-19. They told districts that if they close due to COVID-19 AND continue to offer instruction remotely, they MUST make that learning accessible to ALL students. This includes students with disabilities. And for students with disabilities, this means that services outlined in IEPs must be offered “to the greatest extent possible.” When schools re-open, Special Education teams will need to meet to determine if students with disabilities who missed services are entitled to make them up.
Are schools ready for this? Are us teachers ready for this? Are our students with disabilities ready for this? And more importantly, is remote learning beneficial for our students with disabilities?
If we cancel school and implement distance learning that can be accessed by some, but not all, of our students, it's unethical.
On the other hand, if schools close and do not move to distance learning, the federal education department stated that schools are then NOT required to provide services to students with disabilities during that time.
I know what you are all thinking... 'We have to continue teaching. Students have to keep learning. What about the regression they will show when schools re-open?'
We can offer suggested activities for ALL students.
These activities should not be graded or required!
We can offer summer school for our students. We can extend our learning time when we return. We can offer extra instruction or after school tutoring.
We are stressed right now. And our students are smart. They can read us. They can read the world. They are feeling the stress of the world too - no matter how much we protect them. It's most important for our students to stay healthy and safe.
By Miss Rae
5/19/2020 05:14:41 pm
I like your image at the top of this post. May I use it in a presentation I am creating for Lehigh University Law Symposium?
5/19/2020 07:28:47 pm
Hi! I would be honored. Please email me with any questions if needed. MissRaesRoom@gmail.com
5/25/2020 05:29:33 pm
Hello from the Philippines. Your image at the top of this article is so great. Your article is good for our SPED teachers to read even if we may have a different context here in the Philippines. We posted the image together with a LINK to this article on our Facebook page. Our hope is that more teachers will be able to benefit from your blog. We are a group of special education teachers in the Philippines. Thank you very much for sharing your ideas and we wish you more power.
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