Special education students need a whole-child approach
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in early 2020, 7.3 million students received special education services mandated by the Education for Persons with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This is her 14% of her K-12 students attending U.S. public schools, who rely on additional services (often highly specialized services) to enhance their learning abilities and lives. doing.
But when the pandemic hit and schools closed, the elaborate and precarious system built to meet the needs of these students collapsed.
In October 2020, just over two-thirds of K-12 principals estimated that students with disabilities would be performing somewhat or significantly worse than before the pandemic. A year later, a November 2021 survey by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (an advocacy group for special education students and their families) found that 86% of parents believe their child has a learning loss, skill , or a slower experience. Expect progress in school.
The predictability of our current situation is tragic. But it would be a mistake to blame all this on the pandemic. Even before the pandemic hit, there were signs that students with disabilities were in serious trouble. COVID has only exacerbated the immediate problem.
As school districts emerge from the pandemic, how can school leaders ensure that they rebuild and rethink the educational experience to ensure that special education students have access to equitable outcomes? ‘s whole-child approach helps accelerate learning in this unique group.
Whole-child approach for all children
Special education students are often marginalized and lack access to the support they need to grow academically as well as as a complete human being.
Our goal is to enable students to leave school literate and passionate so that they have access to the knowledge of a full life and their true selves.When Students Come to Us , we should try to understand the child as a whole, starting with where the child came from, what they need, and what they want to achieve. It’s a useful document. But we need to reach beyond the IEP. It helps the child clarify who they are and what they aspire to be.
Building a community centered on each student
At Ulster, we’ve designed our services around the belief that students should be at the center of their educational experience. We accomplish this with the help of staff trained to understand that they are all individual members of the community around each student. and consider the wraparound services that each individual child may need. Next, who are the adults they interact with on a daily basis?
When a student is in the school building, nearly 10 adults can affect the life of one student each day. These include teachers, teaching her assistants and/or adjuncts, physical therapists, language counselors, social her workers, and others. others. If that student is at risk, we can call our Positive Intervention Team (or PIT Crew), an administrator, or someone in the community outside the school or their family. system of support.