‘There’s a lot of uncertainty’: Families of special education students unsure how accommodations will be met virtually | Richmond Latest News

Hanover County is preparing for about 60% of its entire student population to be back in school under a relatively normal five-day school week. The system expects 56% of the 2,600 county students who receive special education accommodations to resume in-person learning, a spokesman said.

Select K-12 special education students in Chesterfield could return to four days of in-person instruction as early as Sept. 29. Downing says her son meets the threshold to be in the first cohort, but said the school system says otherwise.

Chesterfield’s Director of Special Education Diane Glover, who did not make herself available for an interview, wrote in an email that Cohort 1 “includes students with disabilities who receive adapted instruction on the aligned standards of learning, as well as students served in the Intensive Day Program, Autism Day Program, Intellectual Disability-Severe Program and Early Childhood Special Education as determined by the IEP team.”

“We are continuing to consider how we can use home visits to support student needs,” Glover wrote.

In Mason’s two IEP meetings this month, Downing said she was told her son’s plan could not be accommodated. Downing asked about having an aide check in a couple of times a day to help him cope with virtual learning. That also was denied.

“He needs to build a relationship, once he trusts somebody in the school he starts to succeed. Now he’s going into a new school, not knowing anyone. We were trying to get a special aide that would call for 5 to 10 minutes, to make sure he is focused to go into the next class, not a hand hold, just a quick call,” Downing said.

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