The coronavirus pandemic is severely affected the US special education students more than their counterparts. Educators need to come up with a plan that integrates these students in virtual learning classes.
The US educators are struggling to come up with a concrete plan to address the school lockdowns due to coronavirus. The initial plan was to close schools for a few weeks, wait for the virus infection to reduce and return back to school. However, that is becoming increasingly unlikely as more states are now projecting the lockdown will stay for months.
The initial plan, therefore, was perfect for under-resourced schools and special education students in the US. It meant that education would just stop for a while, everyone would depart from school and when they returned, they would be on the same level.
The US special education hiccups
The possibility of schools being shut down for months has now placed the Department of Education on alert. In a statement, Betsy Devos said, “It was extremely disappointing to hear that some school districts were using information from the Department of Education as an excuse not to educate kids.”
This was in reference to an initial plan that involved closing schools with no contingency plan on how students would continue learning. She continued by saying it was time schools stopped being afraid and implement distance learning. She added that it was better to implement the plan and teach some students rather than educating no one.
Problems the students are facing
This, however, placed US special needs students in a peculiar position. Educators are now trying to figure out how they will connect with these students and if the education delivered will be universal. Monica McHale-Small, president of the Learning Disabilities Association of America and a former principal said indicated that parents were getting nervous about the government’s plan for the students with disabilities.
She argued that these students were not getting services and this would continue during the lockdown. This was not an anticipated solution and school educators are still scrambling to determine the best way to handle these cases.
New York, for instance, is educating teachers on how to approach these students through virtual learning. They are already teaching teachers about technology. They have also launched an online teaching plan which these teachers will adhere to.
As the virus continues to spread with more than 390,000 already infected and 17131 deaths. The reopening of schools is far fetched and they will need to figure out how they accommodate everyone to study virtually.