LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Special education teachers at Leander Independent School District had to revamp their program after COVID-19 pushed classes online.
“We have had to redesign what special education looks like,” said Kim Waltmon, who oversees special education services for Leander ISD. “We have to be very creative and partner with our parents and partner with our professional learning communities to ensure that we are meeting the needs of each individual.”
As a parent, Jenny Schey wants the best for her kids, but she didn’t know what to expect when the district announced a move to virtual classes.
“There were some concerns I had,” Schey said. “Especially with a child that has some learning disabilities.”
Leander ISD students resumed in-person classes Tuesday, but nearly half of the district’s special education students will remain virtual moving forward.
“For some of my kids I am creating a to do list to help them stay organized,” said special education teacher Carrie Carey. “For others I am creating a very detailed breakdown of everything they need to know, it really depends on each individual kid.”
Carey spent the first few weeks of school helping her students online.
“I have students I meet with in small group and I have some that stay behind and I will work with one on one,” Carey said. “I have some kids I join their Zooms in class and then they stay behind to get some support from what they are doing in class.”
While she does everything she can to help, she relies on parents to help her students as well.
“There have been a few frustrations just on our side when my son hasn’t understood something,” Schey said. “So it was very easy to reach out to the teacher and say he is not understanding this and immediately I get a phone call or email trying to walk him through it.”