Special education in the age of COVID-19: ‘We are surviving, and in some ways even thriving’

Tammi Snedeker’s autistic son, Christian, goes to school in Derry Township School District. He’s a hands-on learner, and Snedeker said virtual learning last spring was a challenge.

“Friday night would roll around, the homework was due and we would be sitting down with just tears and screaming — trying to get at least a 75%,” Snedeker said.

Starting this fall, Christian is going to school in-person two days a week, though Snedeker said she’s pushing for his school to teach him in-person all five days.

“I’m just worried about him falling behind. He struggles to learn already, and he is extremely smart, he just, he doesn’t have the attention and the drive to do it on his own,” she said.

Students with intellectual disabilities or special needs are disproportionally affected by virtual learning because they miss out on vital socializing, skill-building and emotional growth, experts say. Consistent routine, physical touch,

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How to keep financial education thriving in a virtual world

As credit union professionals, financial education and wellness is baked into our philosophy. For many of us, that’s included in-person learning, including fairs and classroom visits. But with traditional forms of learning and member engagement turned upside down in the past few months, how do credit unions adjust their plans?

Is there an app for that?

For many years now, our credit union has held annual “CU 4 Reality” learning fairs to teach middle and high school students about real world budgeting. However, when local schools switched to virtual education in March 2020, we had to quickly come up with a way to provide this knowledge in an interactive yet virtual way. We discovered an opportunity to purchase an app that we used to create a hands-on money management simulation, in which students are tasked to make various financial decisions, such as selecting a mode of transportation, home and food

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