Department of Education Hosts Webinar on Learning Recovery for Students with Disabilities
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education hosted a webinar, “Lessons from the Field - Returning to In-Person Learning: Supporting Students, Especially Those with Disabilities, through Intensive Instruction, Effective Learning Environments and Family Engagement.” Speakers from Ferguson-Florissant School District and the Wyoming State Department of Education discussed the work they have undertaken and future work to address the impact of COVID-19.
Presenters from Ferguson stressed that schools cannot return to “business as usual.” The district has created a voluntary Summer Learning Academy where students will not only do academic work, but also some of the engaging activities they want to do during the summer. He stressed the importance of positive behavioral interventions and supports when working with any student, and especially students who have endured the most during the pandemic.
The Wyoming presentation showcased a system of data-based individualization for addressing specific educational deficits in students. Through investing in educator capacity, the state documented increased student performance, increased teacher confidence, increased teacher efficacy, and positive relationships with families. They pointed to asynchronous learning options, a community of practice for educators, and alignment with the new Wyoming MTSS Center, which launched this month.
While schools have been in-person since the fall, they have also created an online school, so parents and students have a choice about settings. The state is looking at offering hybrid options next fall, unrelated to the pandemic.