A growing crisis in special education

Our daughter Mae is 4. She has Down syndrome, and we are fighting to keep her in school.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and in any other year we would work with friends, families, and organizations to fund-raise, advocate, and spread awareness for those who share Mae’s diagnosis.

But, of course, this is unlike any other year. As the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic drags on, we have had to work harder than ever to advocate for basic educational rights and services for all children with special needs.

When schools began shutting down in March, families across the nation were faced with the reality that their children with special needs would lose the services and professional therapies that are provided through public school systems once a child reaches the age of 3.

More than seven months have passed since children have experienced a normal school day. Remote learning is

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A growing crisis is special education

Our daughter Mae is 4. She has Down syndrome, and we are fighting to keep her in school.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and in any other year we would work with friends, families, and organizations to fund-raise, advocate, and spread awareness for those who share Mae’s diagnosis.

But, of course, this is unlike any other year. As the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic drags on, we have had to work harder than ever to advocate for basic educational rights and services for all children with special needs.

When schools began shutting down in March, families across the nation were faced with the reality that their children with special needs would lose the services and professional therapies that are provided through public school systems once a child reaches the age of 3.

More than seven months have passed since children have experienced a normal school day. Remote learning is

Read More

Primary class sizes to be cut while more teachers and special needs assistants hired

Smaller primary classes and the recruitment of more resource teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs) are central planks of the €8.9bn education budget for 2021.

Fianna Fáil has held good to its promise to restart the process of reducing the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in the most overcrowded classrooms in the EU.

It will come via an increase in the allocation of teachers to schools, with one teacher for every 25 pupils next September, down from the current 26:1, and it means an extra 307 primary teacher jobs.

While the average class size in the EU is 20, in Ireland it is 24, with one in five primary pupils taught in a class of 30 or more.

There is also a commitment to 403 special education teachers, a further 87 posts for primary schools at risk of losing a teacher because of falling enrolments, and another 268 teacher jobs, across primary

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Vets school flooding temporarily relocates special education program to Saugus Middle-High School – News – Saugus Advertiser

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The special education program at Veterans Memorial Elementary School has been temporarily relocated to the new Saugus Middle-High School after the Hurd Avenue building sustained significant flood damage.

Last week, a grouping of Vets School special education students started their hybrid education at the Middle-High School, according to Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services & Special Education Dawn Trainor.

A pod has been designated on the high school side of the Middle-High School to house the Vets School special education students, Trainor said.

Town Manager Scott Crabtree explained that in August, a faucet was left on when water service was restored following work at the Vets School and the first and second floors of a wing were flooded with hot water.

Crabtree said he dispatched cleaners to the Vets School as soon as the flood damage and mold were discovered.

School Committee

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Students Trickle Back to Class as San Diego Unified Focuses on Special Needs

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Children went back to the classroom in San Diego Unified School District as part of Phase 1 to help special needs students. The girl is returning to Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont.
Children went back to the classroom in San Diego Unified School District as part of Phase 1 to help special-needs students. The girl is returning to Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego classrooms are no longer empty. Tuesday morning, children were inspecting school gardens, doing work in the halls and enjoying lessons on a classroom’s giant smart board.

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Special-needs students returned to limited on-campus instruction in the San Diego Unified School District’s elementary schools in the first phase of returning all students to in-person learning.

“What we are seeing is a lot of struggle with the social and emotional aspects,” said Principal Anne McCarty at Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont. “Parents are having to be the teachers and work and do everything, so we are trying to help out as much

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Merced City School District welcomes back special education students

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) — Merced City School District staff members were eager to welcome back a small group of students on Monday.

A Franklin Elementary School special education teacher even made unique desks for her students, each designed to be their personal truck.

“The desks are built like trucks, so everything they need is in their truck,” explained Miss Bonita. “They have their keys, which are all their passwords for anything they’re logging onto.”

She’s hoping the rules of the road will help students adjust to the new classroom health safety rules.

“We keep our hands in the car, we have to stay in our seat when we’re in our car, our masks can come off in the car, pretty much all the normal rules we use in the car,” explained Bonita.

Roughly 150 special education students returned to the classroom for in-person learning on campuses in the Merced City

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Genesee County ISD special education funding formula violates state law, judge says

FLINT, MI — The formula used to funnel some special education dollars through the Genesee Intermediate School Distrct to local districts violates state law, an administrative law judge has said.

For Flint schools, this could mean the district will get more special education funding because it has a higher than average percentage of special education students. It also could mean less money for school districts with a high total student count but lower percentage of special education students, like Grand Blanc Community Schools.

As it currently stands, the GISD Mandatory Plan appropriates $3.8 million of Act 18 special education funds back to local districts based on a three-part formula: 1. Total special education headcount 2. Full-time-equivalent (FTE) special education student head count 3. Total FTE headcount. FTE head count is adjusted for part-time student numbers. These three factors are currently equally weighted.

However, Administrative Law Judge Michael St. John in

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Special Olympics Maine recognizes Bath high school for inclusive program

Members of Morse High School’s unified sports teams accepted a banner from Special Olympics Maine Friday recognizing the school for its involvement in the organization’s Unified Champion Schools program. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

BATH — It’s the last minute of the final game for Morse High School’s unified basketball team, which boasts an equal number of students with and without disabilities. Shots are taken, missed, and taken again as the clock ticks down until the buzzer sounds and every player, coach and spectator erupts into cheers, applause and congratulations. Who wins isn’t remembered, but the sense of acceptance every student feels will last a lifetime.

The unified basketball team is just one part of Morse High School’s involvement with Unified Champion Schools, a Special Olympics Maine program aimed at fostering a sense of social inclusion, respect and acceptance for all students and teachers. The Bath high school received

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Vizzle Revamps Special Education Learning Platform, Expands Accessibility Amid Continued COVID-19 School Disruptions

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent school closures, special education learning platform, Vizzle has enhanced their virtual platform and increased accessibility for parents and school districts struggling with increased needs and decreased budgets.

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent school closures, special education learning platform, Vizzle has enhanced their virtual platform and increased accessibility for parents and school districts struggling with increased needs and decreased budgets.

CLEVELAND, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent school closures, special education learning platform, Vizzle has enhanced their virtual platform and increased accessibility for parents and school districts struggling with increased needs and decreased budgets.

Vizzle is the only student-facing, online, Special Education Platform that treats each student as an individual striving to meet their specific goals. As learning environments shift between the classroom and home, Vizzle provides students with consistency and school districts

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Champaign Special Education Teacher explains how she’s adapting to the pandemic | Top Stories

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – One special education teacher in Champaign loves her job, and this pandemic has made her realize why. 

Katie Smith teaches at Barkstall Elementary School. As a special education teacher, she loves making her students feel just like everyone else. 

“My favorite part of being a special ed teacher is working with students who have either internalized or been told, directly or indirectly that they are somehow less than, and showing them that with hard work, and with the right teaching strategies they can learn,” Smith told WAND News.

But the pandemic brought challenges to her teaching. Smith, along with her students, had to get over the technology curve. “I had never zoomed, I have never made a Google slide assignment, ” said Smith. “I had never had to describe to students in action I want them to do without them having visual cues.”

But this only

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