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Special Education: A new approach during distance learning

By Serena Atkinson and Keirah Chen Dec. 15, 2020

Among the many facets of education complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Education Department has been particularly affected, especially because the curriculum is based on students’ individual needs. At the school, both Cynthia Williams and Trevor Hart, Special Education Department, have mostly adjusted to distance learning and adapted their lesson plans to focus on keeping students engaged with videos and interactive applications.

Courtesy of Yearbook

“With in-person learning, we could utilize all the senses, which helped our students focus on their assignments. The only senses we can work with now are sight and sound,” Hart said.

Despite the challenges distance learning has brought, Hart explains that using technology for school has improved flexibility for students, and could help them feel more comfortable.

“The ability for our students to process information is different than the average student, so being able to work with material already available online can help them feel less overwhelmed by their work. Students are also able to take breaks and care for themselves more readily than they would be able to in a classroom. On the downside, distance learning does make students unable to work on skills that would help them in social or work situations,” Hart said.

During distance learning, the Special Education Department has prioritized building a sense of community with activities geared towards encouraging students to converse more with each other. Hart says that it is important for the Special Education teachers to reconnect with their students as individuals despite communicating only through screens. To help all students become accustomed to the department, every week, Williams’s class has a Fun Friday period where the last half hour is spent helping Courtesy of Yearbook

students build rapport with their

peers and teachers.

As for future plans, Hart and Williams plan on looking for strategies on how to engage students with the curriculum and developing routines to help students improve important skills that will help them later on in life.


About the Contributors

Serena Atkinson

Staff Writer

Serena is a senior and this is her third year as a staff writer. She likes the Clash, kitchen-sink drama films, and looking at birds that are in her backyard.

Keirah Chen

Staff Writer

Keirah Chen is a sophomore at Leland high school and is a staff writer. She likes going places with friends and watching horror movies.

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