Special Education Students Return to the Classroom

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – While South Plainfield schools remain in remote learning, one group of students has returned to in-person instruction. Special education students in the district returned to class on September 2, with important safety measures in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The safety procedures include mandatory mask wearing for students and staff, temperature checks, and social distancing.  “In the classroom the setup is different from before since the children have to be at least 6 feet apart, there are no open spaces for circle time, play area, and sensory areas, “  said Tierra Sosa, whose daughter Aria, is in the self-contained class at Kennedy Elementary School. Michele Both, whose son Kyle, is a senior at South Plainfield High School, said that in order to keep contact to a minimum, her husband brings and picks up her son, and he enters and exits through a door that goes

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Nonprofit tackles challenges of special needs education amid pandemic

A new approach to teaching students with special needs is taking shape as students around the country return to some form of schooling. With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing unique challenges already, experts fear children that need more intensive educational support are in danger of being left behind.



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“He doesn’t have much receptive language. And he was starting to understand small things,” New York mother Kristen Teodoro told CBS News’ Jamie Wax. “He was starting to want to participate in group activities, which he’d never really wanted to do. And then COVID happened.”

Teodoro, whose 5-year-old son Hudson is on the autism spectrum, turned her concern into action and founded Hudson’s Helping Hands.” The nonprofit offers support to children with special needs by encouraging socialization and engagement within a group setting. For health and safety, temperature checks are performed at the entrance, all parents are required to

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‘A heavy burden:’ Greenwich special education families feel ‘overlooked’ in opening days

GREENWICH — Just days into the new school year, some special education parents say they are concerned about services offered to remote students and what they call a general lack of communication from the school district.

Some parents spoke out at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, expressing that they felt “overlooked” and that their special education children were an afterthought. On Friday, the head of the teachers union in the Greenwich Public Schools called a recent change in special education staffing a “head-scratcher.”

“Currently, I am inundated with text messages and emails from special education families,” said Caroline Lerum, PTA Council chairperson for special education. “A concerning amount of remote families across the district are frustrated because of changes that occurred after school began.”

Primarily, special education parents were alarmed to learn after the new year began that there would not be a remote teacher assigned to each special education

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See how N.J. teachers converted their homes into colorful, tech-heavy remote classrooms

Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators. As schools reopen across N.J., we want to know what is and isn’t working. Tell us about it here.

Nicole Parham wanted to make sure all of her kindergarten students could see the book she was about to read.

“Give me a thumbs up if this looks okay,” Parham said, and was met with 12 tiny thumbs.

It could have been a scene from any kindergarten classroom. But instead of sitting in a circle on a carpet all together, Parham was sitting alone in her upstairs guest room, showing the book to a camera so a computer screen full of children could read along virtually.

“You feel like a first year teacher all over again,” Parham, who is in her 17th year of teaching at Irving

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Wall BOE Hires String Of Teachers For All-Virtual School

WALL, NJ – The Wall Township School District recently hired several new teachers to help alleviate staffing issues within the district amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Eight new teachers were recently approved to join the district, with six slated to teach at the all-virtual elementary school and two set to teach at Central Elementary School, according to meeting documents. 19 staffers were also approved leaves of absence due to child care and medical reasons, alongside one resignation.

According to Superintendent Dr. Tracy Handerhan, the eight hires are not the only educators slated to teach the all-virtual school: “The all-virtual teachers are a combination of seasoned teachers, of Wall Township teachers, and new hires,” the superintendent said.

The special meeting held on Sept. 10 also saw three new support staff hires, as well as the hiring of one new substitute teacher at the elementary school level.

“Typically, appointments like this are usually

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‘I was basically thrown into it’: Newly certified teachers filling gaps in CT schools


Brenna Doherty sent her resume for a teaching position on a Saturday. By the following Monday, a week before the year began at Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport, she

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President Trump’s ‘1776 Commission’ on Patriotic Education Is an Overdue Effort

America’s proud history is worth defending, and it is worth defending through government and politics. There are fair arguments about how best to go about that task consistently with a duly conservative skepticism about the proper powers of federal and local government, but conservatives should not shy away from conserving the core of our national history, ideals, and culture — a goal that not so long ago was neither partisan nor ideological.

The current lines of battle are joined around the teaching of the New York Times 1619 Project, Howard Zinn’s 1980 screed A People’s History of the United States, and other fact-challenged efforts to supplant the story of America, its ideals, and its exceptional history with critical-race and gender theory and leftist agitprop. It is wrong to fill the heads of children with falsehoods, or to subject them to outside-the-mainstream theories until they are old enough to

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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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Virtual Distance Learning Tips For Kids With Disabilities

Toddler girl and mum playing with a digital tablet in the kitchen

For parents of kids with disabilities, virtual learning presents a new set of challenges. Because many students receive additional attention and hands-on support from their special-education teachers, emulating that environment at home is nearly impossible. In the US, 7.1 million kids have individualized education programs (IEPs) — a document developed for each public-school child who is eligible for special education — which may make staying on top of your child’s workload more complex. To help parents and caregivers who may be feeling frustrated with virtual or hybrid learning, we asked experts for their best tips for helping students with disabilities learn at home.

1. Create a Visual Schedule

Understandably, kids with disabilities may take a longer time to adjust to learning at home. If your child has difficulty focusing or is easily overwhelmed by a weekly schedule, try laying out each day’s classes in an easy-to-understand format.

“For children who

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Pflugerville teacher laid to rest but family hopes her legacy lives on through school namesake

The longtime Pflugerville special education teacher was laid to rest after a four-year battle with esophageal cancer.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — A longtime Pflugerville ISD teacher sadly lost her battle to cancer but her name is now in running to be the namesake of Pflugerville Independent School District’s Elementary 22. 

Jessica Carpenter was laid to rest Sunday. 

“We had gotten the diagnosis news back in 2016 in October,” said Jessica’s husband, Aaron Carpenter. 

It was a diagnosis that no husband wants to hear: his wife of over a decade had Stage IV esophageal cancer. 

“[Jessica] went through and did treatment on a continual basis, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and some radiation,” said Aaron Carpenter.

Doctors told the couple that she had only three months to live but they were wrong. 

The teacher of 20 years continued to pour into her students at Brookhollow Elementary for four more years, all while fighting cancer. While

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