Remote learning not the best fit for special education, but teachers, families doing their best | Local

“They’re all over the place,” Hammond said of their response to remote learning, explaining how difficult it has been for them to stay engaged with an iPad for hours at a time. “To them, computers are for computer games, video games, that kind of stuff. They just don’t have that concept of, ‘This [device] is for school.’”

Hammond said she is concerned these young students are moving backward educationally and has been noticing some startling behavioral changes.

“My third-grader, he has more meltdowns. He is exhausted. He tells me that his eyes hurt and he’s had more headaches. The other two are more rowdy, more rambunctious. They get more argumentative,” she said. “All the things that you hear about kids that have tons of screen time, we deal with all of that, on top of the fact that kids are cooped up in the house all the time. They’re not getting their outdoor play like they would be if they were at school and having recess.”

She doesn’t blame teachers, though, who she said are doing everything they can for her students, but instead called the situation a governing board problem, wishing the board had allowed classes to meet on campus even part-time or outside to give more students access to services such as special education.

Carol Sharp and Molly Joralmon, special education teachers in Sinagua’s Lifeskills Program, said they have been working almost nonstop to accommodate their students remotely, including coordinating a weekly time for families to pick up hands-on materials for their students to complete during their 95-minute classes.

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