A classroom experiment in one California county has allowed students in special education to return to school with masks, social distancing and close monitoring. The reopening, which has some students onsite and others participating viva remote learning, was welcomed by parents and teachers.
A collaborative in Massachusetts is focusing on the social-emotional connection for students in special education to increase support and ease anxieties with virtual face-to-face programs. Some students are thriving with the remote learning aspect, and the program plans to adopt some techniques after the pandemic eases.
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As schools consider plans to reopen in the fall, teachers say they are most concerned about students' learning gaps as well as social and emotional health stemming from this period of remote instruction, according to a survey from Educators for Excellence. To help students recover, 60% of teachers say they favor incorporating remediation into the school day, and 56% favor tutoring, plus after-school programs.
Students from wealthier families are more likely to be engaging in remote instruction, according to a survey from the advocacy group ParentsTogether. Data shows that 83% of students from families earning more than $100,000 annually were participating in distance learning daily -- compared with 4 in 10 of the country's students from the poorest families accessing it about once a week or less.
Some education groups are asking the US Congress to ease requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that enforce financial penalties for districts that do not meet certain standards for special education spending. In a letter to members of US Congress, the groups -- including the School Superintendents Association, the Council of Administrators of Special Education and the National School Boards Association -- say the requirements are unreasonable during the closures because of the pandemic.
A nonprofit group in Ohio helps volunteer sportsmen and sportswomen share outdoor experiences with children with special needs. The group functions on donations and grants and puts on several events each year, including fishing days.
A platform from the University of Michigan that lets teachers create curricula and collaborative lessons for students tops this week's offerings of free tools for remote learning. Also available is an app for assessing and supporting students' social and emotional wellness, plus video lessons on teaching perseverance.