Supports for Educators
Please note office hours are intended to provide real-time technical assistance to educators, caregivers, parents, and students. Technical assistance is not legal advice. Specific questions concerning a student’s special education program or the laws relating to the provision of services in a child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Program) should be directed to ConsultLine at 800-879-2301
Testing your system:
Participants are encouraged to test your computers/devices prior to the date of the web conference using https://zoom.us/test, and to seek local assistance if you encounter difficulty.
Date/Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Possible Topics: A Family Engagement Consultant will be available, during our office hours to provide a quick response to your questions or concerns.
Email for Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read & Write for Chrome is a Chrome extension that, for the free version, adds screen reading to any site
- Do2Learn is a site for students with disabilities. It has a social skills activity box with social stories and activities, behavior regulation story strips, songs and games focused on social skills and safety, and some printable PECs style cards.
- Social Stories for Social Distancing This site has social stories and communication boards about handwashing, social distancing, and the virus.
- New Website for Families and General Educators for Complex Learners Visit: https://sites.google.com/pattan.net/pattan-significant-cognitive-d/home It is recognized that everyone is doing their best to manage work, self-care, children’s online education, and more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families and professionals supporting children with disabilities face additional challenges. You are not in this alone. The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), in collaboration with the Bureau of Special Education, has created a website for families and general educators supporting complex learners at home. For the purpose of this website, a complex learner is a child, youth, or young adult with an intellectual or significant cognitive disability, multiple disabilities, and/or sensory impairment.
- Rethinking Family Engagement During School Closures. This article is for teacher and explains 3 assumptions that teachers should avoid when planning virtual learning for their students.
- School Closures Due to Coronavirus/COVID-19: FAQs for Families of Students with Disabilities
- School Closures Due to Coronavirus/COVID-19: FAQs for Families of Students with Disabilities Spanish
- PaTTAN Family Engagement Webpage
- Pennsylvania Family Engagement Birth Through College, Career, Community Ready Framework
- Title 1 Local Education Agency and School Parent and Family Engagement Policy Checklist
- Tips for Teachers on Family Engagement - National PTA
- PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Implementation Guide
- Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships Implementation Guide
- Enhancing Parent Involvment: A Practical Guide for Pennsylvania's Schools Supporting Students with Disabilities
- Top Five Reasons Schools Need to Engage Parents
- Alternate Eligible Content (AEC) is the academic content – Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Science - that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are the expected to know and do in the tested grades. Stakeholders, including families, developed the AEC in 2015. All content is aligned to grade level standards but is presented at a lower level of difficulty. The AEC can be further modified by the teacher for instructional access. Visit this link and choose the subject to explore further. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of each page for available webinars on the topic.
Making a Quick Switch to Distance Learning
- Essentialized Examples are sample resources showing how specific topics or alternate eligible content aligned to grade level standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts may be presented to a student with a significant cognitive disability. Three levels of difficulty are shown for each topic or standard so that every student can have access to the topic.
- This free resource will be helpful to teachers and families. It is provided by Project Appleseed, a national campaign for public school improvement. List of Sites for Families to Use While School is Closed
- SchoolVirtually provides resources for educators and families to support all learners.
Technology and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Low Tech and No Tech Approaches to Distance Learning
Digital Tools for Home School Communication
What questions are children and families asking during these uncertain times?
What supports or resources might help children and families?
- What does this mean for families with limited resources?
- How do parents who may have disabilities themselves support their children with changes to routines, stressors?
- How can we provide FAPE with appropriate supports and services – to all children, given the divide of students with resources and students without resources? Given the implications of widening the divide, how can we continue school under these conditions?
- What about timelines re: IEPs?
- What about the loss of skills that children with disabilities may experience?
- What about the uncertainty? When will school resume? What? When?
- How does this impact students at different phases of life – early intervention, preschool, schoolage, graduation, transition, college?
- How does this impact different families with multiple children with disabilities?
- How do individuals with disabilities understand this (given that no one really knows)?
- How are adults responding and how does that impact children?
- What about community diversity – access to resources, devices, etc.?
- What are the implications for individuals with different disabilities – for example, technology needs of children who are DHH?
- How can we pause education for some because others need basic supports and resources? Are we thinking about the needs of all?
- How can we create equity and protect civil rights as we move forward – for example, for children with medical conditions?
- How can parents take this on too? How can parents navigate education/handle this in light of all the other stressors (not working, economic stressors, taking care of parents)?
- How can we get the cart (official education) out of the way of the horse (basic needs)? What is really important right now?
- How do families that speak other languages access information and education? Who will be left behind?
- Assuring kids are safe
- Assuring kids are fed
- Messaging for your children (not sharing your fear; not negative messages about “stuck at home with my kids”)
- PEAL COVID 19 Resource Page
- US Government and National Updates
- Pennsylvania Updates
- On-line Education Resources
- Virtual Things to Do – museums, field trips, read aloud
- Taking care of yourself and family
- Community updates: How you can help
- Parent support – virtual places to chat, connect with and commiserate with other parents who share their life experiences; Zoom chats
- Eblasts with family resources such as PEAL COVID-19 Resource Page; Could by Bi-lingual Eblast (English and Spanish in same Eblast)
- Offering calm words of wisdom
- Feedback up the chain up to PDE and upward to national education system. Ideally, if the education system paused and put all resources into simply taking care of children and their basic needs until we work out plans so that all kids can move forward together. This crisis is beyond the point of education right now. Perhaps the entire national system needs to put all of these resources into protecting children.
- Put the Maslow needs (basic safety) before the Bloom needs (education).
- Reality check on compensatory education or accountability requirements (such as 180 days) – messaging may vary week by week based on how people are feeling/what people are experiencing