CCS continues to serve special education students

Published 11:59 am Monday, April 6, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools special education department has developed plans to provide service to students while school buildings are closed due to COVID-19.

“Students who receive special education services will continue to be connected to their special education case manager and related service providers,” Special Education Director Michelle Coppedge said.

“Case managers will work together with families to design instruction unique to each student. Each student with an IEP (Individualized Education Program) will have an individualized plan for their distance learning that addresses the student’s goals, services and accommodations during distance learning. Related services, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling services, vision services, etc., will be provided via the service provider based on the individualized plan for each student.”

The goal is for teachers to schedule time with each student “and also provide periodic check-ins for understanding, in addition to supports and accommodations tailored to the students most critical areas of need.”

Parents will be able to contact their child’s case manager with questions and will be provided with Coppedge’s contact information. Coppedge said the child’s case manager would be the first person that parents should contact with questions.

“I will assist any parent who reaches out to me by working with the student’s IEP team to meet individual needs,” Coppedge said.

Requirements to serve special education students remain the same during the COVID-19 building closure as during the ordinary school schedule.

“The special education teachers in Chilton County are among the best I have ever seen,” Coppedge said. “Their dedication and compassion is unmatched. We also have the best students and most attentive parents. I want parents to know that we are committed to being here for their students and for them. It is very important during this time of change that we keep lines of communication open. I encourage any parent in any situation to make sure they reach out and communicate with their child’s case manager. When we are on the other side of this, I think education will have seen some very interesting and important changes in the way we serve students.”

She said acclimating to the set up would take everyone working together to best serve students.

“Significant grace on all sides is important as we navigate through this situation because the road will not always be easy,” Coppedge said.