You've got questions, we have answers
As COVID-19 (Corona Virus) impacts our daily lives, we thought it was a great idea to use our blog to provide some education-specific answers to your questions. We know there's a lot of information (and misinformation) out there, especially as it pertains to school and children's IEPs.
Here are just some of the questions we’ve fielded so far:
How long will our schools be closed? Answer – No one knows for sure, but school will be out of session through April 6, 2020. We’ll continue to monitor the local schools for any changes and will post accordingly.
What is distance learning? Answer - A method of studying in which lectures are broadcast or classes are conducted by correspondence or over the Internet, without the student's needing to attend a school. Our local school districts are in the process of developing learning modules and will be rolling out instructions soon. In the meantime, fire up your computer, Chromebook or tablet and make sure you can sign on to your child’s Google Classroom account. Can you sign into your school district’s webpage? Not sure how Google Classroom works, here’s a parent’s guide to Google Classroom
My child is on an IEP and has a hard time completing work independently, how can I help? Answer - Students who are on IEPs many times have accommodations that include modified work. If your student has that accommodation, we’re suggesting that you make the determination of what needs to be modified. Cut down the amount of questions that need to be answered, read aloud material, email the teacher for help. If the work is just too hard, feel free to substitute a different lesson.
My child receives direct service from the speech pathologist (occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker, school psychologist, vision specialist, etc.) and requires these services. With school on hiatus, how are those services going to be provided? Answer – We are all working out logistics and it will take some time to figure everything out. Breaking quarantine for direct instruction is probably not going to happen, so time to get creative. Now's a good time to work on your child’s leisure skills or daily living skills. Write letters or post cards to the neighborhood nursing homes, teach your child how to make cookies, make the bed, how about learning how to sweep the kitchen floor, sort a handful of coins, play board games - Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly or Risk to name a few.
My child is having a hard time understanding this “new” normal and hasn’t truly understood why the school is closed. What can I do to help? Answer - Meredith Polsky Matan of www.matankids.org, has written a social story entitled “My School is Closed Today” She’s graciously sharing it with the world. Why not check it out for yourself
Will scheduled IEP meetings still happen? Answer - We’ll just have to see how things will unfold. Later in the week, we’ll be reaching out to the team chairs and will continue to keep you posted.
What about MCAS, SATs and ACT exams? Answer - From what we can tell, adjustments to scheduling MCAS is under discussion. College Board, the company the administers SAT tests, has decided to cancel the March 28th makeup exam and the May 2nd exam. They will be issuing refunds. The ACT test date schedule for April 4th has been rescheduled to June 13th. If your child is scheduled to sit for the April 4th exam, keep an eye out for an email with instructions to re-register for June 13th.
We’re here to help support you throughout these unprecedent event. If you have questions, feel free to reach out, by calling 508-428-2288 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org We will do our best to get you the information you need. In the meantime, we will periodically update our website: www.capecodadvocate.com as well as posting information on our social media platforms.