Special-needs students struggle to adapt to online learning

For sixth-grader Santiago Casas, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, going to school means staying home and staring at a computer for six hours.

The screen, like a drawbridge stuck in the up position, has left him stranded, cut off from the cognitive and social nurturing he received in the classroom.

He has trouble with organization, so clicking between online calendars, messages, documents and assignments for six advanced classes is “like negotiating a maze,” said his mother. He has trouble concentrating, so sitting still through the 115-minute periods of his new online block schedule at Glades Middle School on two-dimensional Zoom and Teams meeting platforms is “like torture,” she said.

Santiago used to love school. Now he hates it. So do his parents and teachers. Remote learning, a disruption to everyone’s education during the coronavirus pandemic, creates an even higher barrier for students with special physical, emotional and

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Caribbean Online Academy aims to expand virtual learning for CSEC/CAPE students

MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Four years ago, Judian Wright sought to register a fully virtual school to offer Caribbean students a convenient way to study for regional exams, but the Ministry of Education did not accept her online school.

With the onset of the coronavirus in the country, Wright has since been given the green light to launch the Caribbean Online Academy as schools continue to transition to online learning.

“… I shared the vision that I wanted the school to be registered with the ministry [but] at that time they weren’t able to accept registration, reason being this school here is fully online, so based on their policies. They weren’t able to accept it [in 2016],” Wright, who is chief executive officer of the online school, told the Jamaica Observer during a recent interview.

“Since COVID, I went back to share again my interest in registering the institution, this

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After six months of remote learning, tech for students still a work in progress, limited by funding | Education

The shift to remote learning over a weekend in March meant Manchester had to make sure every student had a computer to use for schoolwork.

Six months later, it’s still a work in progress, said Stephen Cross, the school district’s chief information officer.

At the beginning of 2020, Manchester was a “two-to-one” district — two students to one computer, he said. Cross had replaced thousands of outdated laptops before the pandemic and has purchased thousands more, but some students are still waiting.

“We have 3,100 Chromebooks on order, and we have no idea when we’re going to get those,” he said. 

Some schools had a surplus of Chromebooks, so Cross engineered a way to loan some of those schools’ devices to other schools.

“That’s how we’ve been getting devices into the hands of families, moving things around,” Cross said. “We had to scrounge. It was ‘do whatever we can,’ to

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‘As Good as Virtual School Can Be’: Harvard Law Students Embrace Online Learning | News

One week after classes resumed for the fall term, Harvard Law School students report a positive online learning experience and an improvement over the virtual spring semester.

The Law School announced June 3 that it would hold its fall term online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The decision received immediate backlash from hundreds of students who petitioned Law School Dean John F. Manning ’82 and University President Lawrence S. Bacow for a hybrid semester plan, which would offer both online and in-person classes simultaneously. The petition argued remote learning would result in a lower quality legal education.

But now, having started the semester, students share a different perspective.

“In some respects, I actually prefer online classes, since it relieves me of the burden of commuting to school and allows me to spend more time with my family,” third-year student Davis B. Campbell wrote in an email.

Campbell noted the

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Closed schools have to serve some special education students in person, experts say

Out of all the students struggling with distance learning, students with disabilities need in-person services the most, some San Diego parents and advocates say.

Many special education services — such as hands-on occupational therapy or a one-on-one aide — can’t be replicated well online, parents say. Some are reporting that their children simply aren’t learning and that Zoom is too distracting and impersonal.

Meg Menard, a Tierrasanta mom of a 6-year-old boy with autism who attends Elevate Elementary charter school, said she sits with her son throughout his Zoom classes and reminds him to sit up and pay attention every few seconds. At the same time, she takes care of her three other children and works on a master’s degree.

“He doesn’t want to pay attention to Zoom,” she said of her son. “He doesn’t want to sit down and stare at his iPad…. I have to keep telling him

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Students log on to education | Coronavirus

UNION COUNTY — Powder Valley High School in North Powder is about to return to normalcy.

Powder Valley High School again will offer its students the opportunity to attend all their classes on-site starting Monday, Sept. 21. The high school began the school year with a hybrid model of on-site and online education because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students attended school on-site on alternating days and attended online classes when not in the physical classroom.

North Powder School District Superintendent Lance Dixon said the return to full-time on-campus classes is possible because the district determined any one student would have contact with no more than 48 other students during a day in the building. Dixon said if the number had been more than 50 the hybrid system would have had to remain in place.

La Grande is the only district in Union County not able to offer on-site instruction. Students

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Teacher shows how much energy she needs to keep students engaged in online learning: ‘The hardest job ever’

Teachers who were trained to educate in bustling classrooms are now being forced to adapt to virtual learning on the fly. 

A kindergarten teacher shared on TikTok how she is keeping her class of kindergarteners interested during video calls. Mackenzie posted a video highlighting her incorporation of visual cues into teaching on her TikTok account kenziiewenz. 

“My facial expressions trying to keep kindergarteners engaged in online learning,” she wrote in the video caption. 

In the clip, Mackenzie is teaching her class of 5-year-olds about the number four. 

“The number four,” Mackenzie announces, cheerfully holding up four fingers with one hand. 

“I see Brandon is holding up two and two. That will also make four,” she says with double peace signs. 

“I see four and zero,” she puts up four fingers with one hand and uses her fist to make a “0.” 

Mackenzie then asks the students what kind of pictures

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Special education students will start in-person classes as other students begin hybrid, online learning

Tabitha Day is glad her daughter, Emily, 13, will be going to school on Monday.

“Her actually going to school and getting any services at this point would be successful because she’s had nothing,” the Cedar Rapids mom said about her daughter, who is non-verbal and has a form of epilepsy that causes severe seizures.

In the past, school has been a place for Emily to interact with children of different abilities, work with a physical therapist and use equipment she doesn’t have at home, such as an adaptive swing. But since COVID-19 closed schools last spring, Emily hasn’t had any of these services, her mother said.

“I know she has to have some deficits in her communicating,” Day said. “The social part is really important to her. She needs to have those connections with people — her peers and other people besides myself.”

Day filed a federal lawsuit against

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