Schools Work to Move Special Education Online

March 26, 2020, 5 p.m. ·


Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt is recommending that all Nebraska schools move to remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Schools are asked to share a continuity of learning plan with the department of education, which will include information about how they are providing equal education to students with disabilities, as is required by law.

Deb Siemers is Special Education Director for Gretna Public Schools. She said some students with special education needs have a harder time accessing curriculum.

During remote learning, special education teachers are using phone calls and video chat to work with students and parents, as well as classroom teachers, to make sure all students reach their goals. This includes co-teaching online video classes, as well as holding office hours to work one on one with students to re-teach content.

Siemers added that for high school students, the use of technology in the classroom is not new.

“The middle school students, you start preparing them, so that we’re using more technology in the classrooms,” Siemers said. “And so, I think, especially for the high school it’s probably gonna be a little bit easier as far as using that. Elementary, and, of course, as the younger they get, it’s harder, because they’re still learning to learn.”

Siemers said teachers are also working to continue providing vision and hearing services, as well as speech, language, and physical therapy services.