EC student concerns addressed at school board meeting

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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One concern for a school board member of Stanly County Schools voiced at a recent meeting concerned a specific group of students as the back-to-school plans were approved.

Dr. Laura Beachum, director of exceptional children, spoke about plans SCS has for reaching those students.

Virtual classes will use Google Meet or Canvas Conferencing to conduct classes along with phone calls to allow students to work on assignments aligned with their individual education program (IEP) goals.

Beachum said phone calls may also include conference calls with small groups of students along with pre-recorded instructional videos.

Along with the virtual learning, Beachum said SCS is looking for ways to “maximize our face-to-face instructions for our students with disabilities.”

Board member Anthony Graves asked about the level of engagement parents, guardians or caregivers will be able to provide EC students doing remote learning.

Beachum said when students went remote in March teachers documented services being provided. Those documents would go to each student’s case manager, who often is the same teacher.

In those reports, Beachum said teachers are looking for trends on how a student responded to remote learning, along with difficulty getting in touch with the student and any internet accessibility issues.

Graves also asked about communication with family members of EC students to which Beachum said most likey school administrators will facilitate that communication.

Board member Patty Crump read concerns from a parent of an EC student in a self-contained classroom.

“I would love for her to be able to be in the classroom with face-to-face instruction because she needs the socialization for her development and a teacher for her guidance,” Crump read.

Crump then asked, “Can we figure out a way that they come every single day?”

Beachum said “there are discussions of that happening now.” She “would love to have them all come back face-to-face. We would need to look at capacity, but those are serious discussions that are occurring.”

She also said initially guidelines provided were to look first at overall capacity which “really factored into how we can bring our students back.” However, with social distancing possible in smaller-sized EC classes being “very reasonable,” those plans will develop moving forward.

Graves suggested getting a waiver from the state’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to modify requirements for situations like EC classes.

The concerns about EC students were mostly for those in grades 5-12 since grades K-4 were going to be going to school daily anyway.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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