DL #18: Preparing for the First Week of School

  • Authors
    Deborah Taub, Ph.D.
    Elizabeth Reyes, Ph.D.
    Jessica Bowman, Ph.D.

As teachers and parents plan to return to school this fall, many face a myriad of options. Students with significant cognitive disabilities enrolled in inclusive settings, either in a hybrid or online educational platform, need intentional planning to ensure the value of their inclusive programming. Remember one of the principles of the 5C Process: A student’s learning priorities do not change because the learning environment changes. Learning priorities are specific to the student, not the environment. Here are some ideas, tools, and scripts to help build continuity for your inclusive classroom before the school year begins.

Back to School Checklist

General education teachers, special education teachers, related service providers, and paraprofessionals:

  • Become familiar with the district-wide learning platforms and resources
  • Make a plan for supporting family and student use of learning platforms
  • Getting yourself ready
  • Make a plan to work collaboratively with families
  • Make a plan to work collaboratively with colleagues
  • Get to know your students

Become Familiar with District-Wide Learning Platforms

Before school begins you should know:

  • How to set up and operate a course
  • How to create and use small groups
  • The built-in accessibility tools that are available
  • What supports and tools families need to support the work at home?
  • How will you communicate with students who do not have reliable (or any) internet? Possible ideas
    • Telephone
    • Text
    • Snail mail
    • All materials and instructions in a bag
    • Internet hotspots
    • Recordings on a small MP3 player or on a DVD

Options for student participation

  • Telephone tree
  • Letters
  • Recording themselves and sending them to you
  • Pictures of their work
  • Individual phone calls

How to share assignments and have clear step-by-step directions for students to “turn-in” assignments

If you do not know one of these things, contact your school IT person immediately to see what training is available.

Full post on the ICI webpub system at the TIES Center