For some families, the shutdowns provided an opportunity to understand how to become better advocates for their kids.
Of all the educational challenges created by the pandemic, none is likely as great as the requirement that public schools continue to provide “free and appropriate” education for students with special needs.
For many students and families involved in special education, the shutdowns were a nightmare. So many crucial learning accommodations seemed to vanish overnight. Local and national media decried the many failures, lawsuits were filed, and state investigations into districts, including Seattle Public Schools, found violations of the federal law that requires public schools to serve these students.
Many of these students continue to face considerable challenges. But for some students and parents served by special education, the shutdowns provided a kind of silver lining: the opportunity to better understand how their kids learn and become better advocates for them.
For this, the final episode of this season of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard speaks with some of these parents about what they’ve learned about their children in these difficult days and how it has actually made their experience with education better.
Host/Producer: Sara Bernard
Editorial assistant: Brooklyn Jamerson-Flowers
Consulting editor: Donna Blankinship
Executive producer/story editor: Mark Baumgarten
Audio support: Jonah Cohen