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Special education students fall behind with remote learning

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Special education students fall behind with remote learning

Special Education students fall behind during virtual learning

GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - Multiple school districts throughout Mid-Michigan made the difficult decision to transition to virtual learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Grand Blanc Community Schools Superintendent Trevor Alward sympathizes with students and families in the district as they switch to a temporary remote instruction starting with the high school students.

"I know it's a hardship for many, but it's a necessary thing for us to keep our doors open," said Alward.

The back-and-forth transition from virtual to in-person learning and has affected students.

"It takes a long time for our kids to catch on to new skills and tasks. And from a personal standpoint, with my daughter, who is at the secondary level, she has acquired a lot of skills, but she's lost a lot of them since," said Kimberly McCarthy of Fenton.

She said the change from virtual to in-person learning is extremely difficult for students that are disabled or in special education. She said remote instruction has caused her daughter to fall behind.

"It's been a real difficult time for us over the last couple of years with all of this," McCarthy said. "But now with a fear of going back to, that it's even more upsetting to her because she knows what that's all about."

McCarthy is a mother of three and has one daughter in special education at the Genesee Intermediate School District. As of Wednesday, she said they haven't switched her daughter back to virtual.

However, McCarthy still is concerned for other families who have students in special education programs.

"The No. 1 thing that gets upset is the structure of going to school every day, having it planned out for them doing specific activities and having certain people work with them on a regular basis. So then when you go to virtual," McCarthy said. "Usually they can't focus [on] the computer... And so there goes their structure. There goes their ability to really learn."

Each school district has a different plan for their special education programs.

Alward said they have provided opportunities for some special education students to continue in-person learning in the past. However, those are handled on a case-by-case basis.

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