As of March 17, our 240 special education students started learning online through virtual classrooms. Our students range in grades kindergarten through 12th with extreme needs. These students are on the autism spectrum, have ADHD, Down Syndrome, are emotionally disturbed, have multi-sensory needs, and are hearing and visually impaired. They are used to having small, intensely structured classrooms where they have visual and tactile supports along with teachers and paraprofessionals. Unfortunately, now they do not have those supports or even basic classroom materials.
Our students have had their educational lives turned upside down!
Our students are now being taught by watching their teachers on a computer/iPad screen and completing worksheets. The students need more than this to learn and be successful. The only resources they have at home are the iPads (given by NYC) and the supplies that their parents have in their homes. Some of them do not have internet access to be in contact with their teachers and peers.
Our overall aim in seeking materials from Donors Choose.org is to provide a variety of materials that are age-appropriate, aptly suited to the cognitive development and language proficiency of our students, support their developmental and sensory integration needs and are of high interest and culturally broad in nature. We know our students benefit from hands-on materials and experiences that their parents/guardians can carry over into the home environment for maximum reinforcement.
Our student's home classrooms should contain visual, auditory and sensory supports for our students to encourage their learning, comprehension, participation and well-being.
Only with appropriate and available resources can our families realize the mission of our school which is to foster the academic, social and individual growth of our students. We hope to engage, encourage and expand their visions as we realize and raise their learning expectancies.
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