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Meeting Special Education Needs During Pandemic

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Meeting Special Education Needs During Pandemic

Putnam County School’s Special Education Director Sheri Roberson said she feels the first semester went as well as it could given the circumstances.

Roberson said at this point in the school year a majority of her students have gone back to in-person learning. Roberson said her department was equipped for virtual learning, but the challenge was equipping parents.

“In a sense they are becoming home school teachers, so ensuring that they understand what it is they’re being asked to deliver to their child in that moment,” Roberson said. “Especially if their child has significant disabilities.”

Roberson said she has designated teachers and platforms to help remote learners with physical, speech and occupational therapy. Roberson said therapists took care of providing activities to parents during the spring shut down.

“Related service people such as speech and OT and PT were reaching out to parents to ensure that they had activities to do with their students,” Roberson said. “To make sure that there wasn’t such a loss during that closure time.”

Roberson said she gives a lot of credit to teachers and staff who did both remote and in-person learning. Roberson said one parent even tried to make sure her child’s teacher got recognized.

“I had two of them recognized at the board meeting last month,” Roberson said. “One was by a parent who was very appreciative with the way that she handled everything, and so I think they went way above and beyond to meet the needs of their students.”

Roberson said her department was already set up to handle some of the remote learning needs before the shutdown. Roberson credited this for Putnam County special Education being able to navigate the closure better than other districts.


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