‘Double billing’ loophole makes virtual school even harder for special-needs families :: WRAL.com

— A number of families with special-needs students are caught in a government loophole and can’t get in-home help as they try to navigate online-only learning with their children.

In normal times, their children are in school, getting intensely personal help in small classrooms. But with many school systems across North Carolina, including the largest ones in the Triangle, holding online-only classes, that’s happening through a computer screen now.

In normal times, the families can get federally funded waivers to hire in-home help when their children aren’t at school. But virtual learning counts as school, prohibiting parents from getting that help during school hours. Schools get federal funding for special-needs education, and in the U.S. government’s eyes, spending tax dollars on in-home help during the school day counts as double dipping.

“This money’s just sitting there,” said Jennifer Pfaltzgraff, executive director of

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Union Pacific Teams with Safe Kids Worldwide and Chuggington to Educate Families During National Rail Safety Week

OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Every five days a child dies as a result of a train collision, and approximately every three hours a vehicle or pedestrian is struck on the tracks. Union Pacific is collaborating with two national partners – Safe Kids Worldwide and Herschend Entertainment Studios (HES), the franchise owner of preschool TV series Chuggington – to help families understand the potentially devastating impact of distracted and risky behavior during National Rail Safety Week, Sept. 21-27.

“Nearly all rail-related fatalities and injuries are preventable,” said Erin Batt, Union Pacific’s chief safety officer. “Our goal this week is to remind communities to stay alert around railroad tracks and avoid distractions, such as texting or talking on the phone.”

In partnership

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Families, leaders in special education protest Boston Public Schools’ plan

But the district’s latest plan calls for students with the highest needs to return to schools Oct. 1 for two days a week. Those who attend schools of all high-needs students will be able to return for four days a week on Oct. 12. The rest of the district’s 11,000 special-education students must wait to learn whether they will be able to receive more than two days of weekly in-person school until after the district accommodates all other students wanting to learn in-person.

Karina Paulino-Pena, whose son has Down syndrome and attends Blackstone Elementary School, said last spring he struggled to sit still in front of a computer for more than 15 minutes and couldn’t concentrate or respond to the teacher’s questions.

“Of three therapies that he has to do for 30 minutes every week, he only managed to do one,” she said in Spanish in a statement. “I did

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Mental health drives held at Valley high schools to educate families

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Whether you’re adjusting to working from home and socializing at a distance because of a national pandemic or feeling the impacts of the Creek fire, it’s important to know you’re not alone.

“This is a very significant time of stress for all of us,” says Fresno County Director of Behavioral Health Dawan Utecht

A recent study conducted by the CDC shows that nationwide, 63% of young adults have experienced increased anxiety or depression related to COVID.

One in four have either started or increased use of substance and one in four have considered suicide or have had suicidal thoughts.

“They are experiencing both social isolation as well as the impact of the uncertainty of their future,” Utecht said.

Utecht says their team is partnering

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Seattle-area families of color are talking about improving remote education. Here are some of their ideas.

Regina Elmi is the executive director of the Somali Parent Education Board. Ann Ishimaru is associate professor of education at the University of Washington. The authors wrote this piece along with 10 other African American, Somali, Latina and Vietnamese parent leaders from the Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Highline and Seattle school districts.

Thousands of families and caregivers in King County are anxious as schools operate online. In recent months, we’ve experienced the devastation of COVID-19 and a summer of reckoning with anti-Black racism sparked by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake.

We also see racial inequities deepening in our schools. As difficult and heartbreaking as this time has been, many families in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities have been mobilizing and finding creative ways to support and educate their children.

We challenge educational systems to consider: What might

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How low-income families are getting help with online learning from this community center

ANN ARBOR, MI – With six children, including five young children living at home, Antwanette Marshall had to make the difficult decision to temporarily leave her job at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor when the coronavirus pandemic caused schools to close in March.

With no one willing to provide daycare for that many children during a pandemic, Marshall became her children’s daycare provider and learning facilitator as Ann Arbor Public Schools began the year with remote learning last week.

The one glimmer of hope for Marshall during this time has been the support services she’s received from Peace Neighborhood Center, which is providing critical in-person support for children whose parents might have other obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two days a week they are able to take the students out of the home and bring them to the center for in-person learning support, she said, has been a godsend.

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