Special education teachers adapt to virtual learning

Posted on 6 October 2020 at 4:38pm

COLUMBIA – Some special education students have a hard time with online learning, but they’re not alone.

Their special education teachers are right there alongside them.

“It’s difficult. Because we really rely heavily on relationships,” Derby Ridge Elementary special education teacher Patrika Brown said.

Brown said students with special needs require more attention to make sure they’re learning, but more attention means more complicated scheduling.

“The hardest part about like, figuring out what time you have in your schedule, where’s the gap, how many you can get in one group, so you won’t have to, you know, keep repeating information all day,” Battle High School special education teacher Donndre Smith said.

Every student is unique and has different needs and learning speeds. One of Smith’s students rarely spoke.

“Like it really, really made it hard for me to help him because I couldn’t

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Annie Malone Center helping special needs children not fall behind in virtual learning | News Headlines

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Online learning is hard enough for kids, but parents with students with special needs say their children are getting left behind. 

One local organization is working to keep those kids pressing ahead.

Carnadria Smith says it was the fear of her special needs son falling behind that had her concerned during the coronavirus shutdown.

“I’m not a therapist, I’m just mommy,” said Smith.

She’s one of many parents with concerns over virtual learning for students who need alternative learning.

 “Him trying to get through virtual learning, I didn’t know how to navigate that,” she said.  

Her 11-year-old son suffers from Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Kylann Clayborn is Smith son’s teacher at the Emerson Therapeutic Academy and says during the three months of virtual learning, he saw a significant drop in how student were performing.

“Not being able to sit right there and hold their hand through the

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New Mexico Special Ed Teacher Dies Of COVID-19

His 91-year-old mother also tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Kind. Caring. Enthusiastic.

These are just a few ways friends, family, and faculty describe beloved New Mexico special education teacher Leo Lugo, who died at 57 on Sunday of COVID-19, ABC affiliate KVIA reports. Lugo is one of many teachers and school staff who returned to school only to contract the novel coronavirus and die — one of the more recent being Margie Kidd, a South Carolina first-grade teacher who died of COVID-19 on Sept. 28.

According to Gadsden Independent School District (GISD), Lugo developed symptoms last week while preparing his classroom during fall break. The Chaparral High School special education teacher later went to the hospital for treatment and was placed in a medically induced coma. Lugo was, devastatingly, among a half-dozen family members — including his 91-year-old mother — who tested positive for COVID-19.

“He was a very

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HISD trustees approve $17M bump in special education spending

Houston ISD trustees voted Thursday to approve spending an additional $17 million on special education in 2020-21, money that will pay for contracts with organizations providing services to students with disabilities and hiring more staff.

The multimillion-dollar increase, approved by an 8-0 vote with one trustee abstaining, comes one week after state officials issued a blistering report that leveled numerous criticisms of the district’s special education department. However, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan gave no indication that her request for more money is a direct response to the investigation, which her administration dismissed as “factually and legally incorrect.”

Lathan said Thursday that the district would use the money to boost several services offered to students, including those with speech, language and hearing disabilities. HISD also would increase the number of intensive intervention teams, a group of staff members dispatched to campuses to provide special education supports.

“We already have the plan

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Not enough special education teachers for those learning remotely

A Greenwich family says there are not enough special
education teachers for those who opted for remote learning, and they say
their fifth grader is now risking his life by going to school.

Allyson Buck says her three children, including Sam, her
10-year-old, are learning from home this school year. Sam is one of 250 people
in the world with “vanishing white matter disease” – a genetic disorder that
affects the nervous system and causes neurologic symptoms.

If he contracted COVID-19, it could be fatal.

Buck says learning from home became impossible for Sam.

“We were never assigned a special education teacher before
school started, so within a few hours we knew it wasn’t sustainable,” she told
News 12. “Sam can’t move his hands really well. He can’t read. He can’t write.”

Buck says it’s

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Texas flouted special education guidelines for therapy, U.S. officials say

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Texas has failed to ensure children with developmental delays have early access to speech and occupational therapy and other services, according to a letter ​written this week by U.S. education officials who say the state is not complying with federal special education guidelines.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has three months to draw up a plan to ensure that a program that pays for infants and toddlers to receive such early intervention therapies is reaching all eligible Texans, federal officials wrote. Failure to do so could cost the state federal funding.

After years of budget cuts in Texas caused nonprofit therapy providers to drop out of the program, U.S. Department of Education officials found Texas to be in “significant noncompliance” with education guidelines on early intervention services.

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State education board calls special meeting on Epic Charter Schools audit | Education

Byrd’s office found that Epic exceeded the state’s 5% state cap on administrative overhead costs intended to ensure public schools direct most resources on students “year after year.”

The state auditor’s report cites “questionable classification and reporting of administrative costs” between FY 2017 and FY 2019 totaling $16.6 million for Epic One-on-One, a statewide virtual charter school, and $6.7 million for Epic Blended Learning Centers, which offer students in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties a blend of at-home and classroom-based studies.

And a $530,000 penalty imposed by the state school board in February, while significant, represented a fraction of what the state auditor said she has documented proof that Epic actually owes for underreported administrative payroll costs the past six fiscal years: $8.9 million.

Byrd previously called the penalty “a slap on the wrist.”

Her report says had Epic Charter Schools been assessed full penalties by the state, Chaney and Harris’

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Teddy Cops program encourages Katy ISD special needs children

Police officers can be intimidating to special needs children, so Luis Santiago, Katy Independent School District police officer, is changing that, one teddy bear at a time.

In a surprise Teddy Cop visit to a classroom at Wolman Elementary on Thursday, October 8, Santiago presented students with teddy bears that wore blue police uniforms. The Teddy Cop program began in 2015. Since then, Santiago has distributed more than 2,100 bears. He said police uniforms can scare children, and working to get past that fear is important. He took a knee as he handed out the bears and explained that police officers are friends.

“If we can teach them not to be afraid of the person in the uniform, we just made their life easier and made the officer’s life easier because now we’re learning about autism, how to interact with children with autism, how to communicate,” Santiago said.

He explained

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Amarillo special needs students impacted by COVID-19 in classroom

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – Changes being made to the classroom this year are impacting students with disabilities more than others.

The pandemic is impacting special needs students and teachers in the classroom.

© Provided by Amarillo KFDA-TV
The pandemic is impacting special needs students and teachers in the classroom.

A psychotherapist says what some may feel while wearing a mask or being separated from friends could be magnified for children with autism.


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“It causes a lot of anxiety and stress with these children. Not just children with autism but all children in general because children love predictability, they love structure, they thrive in it,” said Annette Nunez, psychotherapist.

Children with special needs are experiencing more challenges than most students this school year.

The same can be said for special education teachers.

“The teachers are working for the most part during the day with the kiddos that are in class and they have scheduled times that they get to work with

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Special education students begin return to school – The Item – telegram.com

REGION — More than 200 special education students across the Wachusett Regional School District returned to school classrooms on Oct. 5 for in-person learning, along with a large number of support staff including teachers, school psychologists, nurses, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) paraprofessionals and other paraprofessionals, and speech, occupational, and physical therapists.

“We have districtwide safety procedures and school-specific safety procedures,” said Christine Smith, Wachusett’s administrator of special education. “All staff have been trained on the proper use of and disposal of PPE and sanitizing. We have new routines for students and staff, but everyone is ready. I have been saying since March, together we can climb this mountain, and today I can say, we are approaching the summit and we are ready to soar.”

Smith, who has been in her role since July 2019, said 124 of those special education students will be transported to their respective schools in vans.

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