Remote learning extra challenging for students with learning disabilities

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Remote learning is a challenge for students who are out of school because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some students need that classroom time to succeed.

Allen Sexton, the Director of Special Programs for Raleigh County Schools, said more than 2,000 students in the Raleigh County school system live with a learning disability. Those disabilities range in severity.

“Attention deficit disorder, reading disorders, mathematics disorders, health impairments, intellectual disabilities, behavior disorders, autism,” Sexton listed.

Sexton said these students thrive better in a classroom with one-on-one time with their teachers.
Because students are not returning to school, parents are taking on that role.

“They don’t have the training or the expertise, or the knowledge even, on these types of programs we are providing at school, so it becomes very difficult. And students with any type of disability, they really rely on regime,” Sexton explained.

The biggest concern is students may regress without the proper in-class education. Sexton said they are already at a disadvantage from their classmates.

“They’re typically behind by two years. Adding two to six months, is not going to help anyone, it’s not going to help that child,” Sexton said.

So, administrators created an Emergency Remote Learning Plan for each one of those students. Sexton said it is an outline of their curriculum and steps they are hopefully taking at home.

“We’ll compare the progress we made in retaining those critical skills, compared to that emergency learning plan, and then make a decision on what additional support do we need to layer on to make sure they have the best jumpstart they can possibly have in to the next school year.”

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