In-Person School for FCCPS Life Skills Children

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In-Person School for FCCPS Life Skills Children

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Bronwen Rankin started this petition to Falls Church City School Board

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, FCCPS students are receiving virtual instruction from their homes.  A very small group of severely disabled students (approximately 4 students per school level) in the Life Skills program have communication, intellectual, and motor delays causing them to be minimally engaged with teachers or peers digitally.  They are losing learning they have previously established.  In addition, the lack of in-person stimulation and guidance leads to behavior problems (aggression, elopement, non-compliance, and/or self-harm) which further prevents them from engaging in school and has a negative impact on themselves, their siblings, and entire families.

Distance learning for these kids is harming them in the short term and will create lasting issues over the long term.  It is critical that these students receive in-person instruction now.

The health and safety challenges associated with providing in-person services to such a small group of students are very different compared to bringing all students back.  The urgent need for services for these kids should be considered essential.

The school board should direct Superintendent Noonan to identify teachers and staff willing to voluntarily provide these services, or hire people willing and able to provide these services.  Implementation planning should begin immediately with the goal of providing in-person instruction starting September 21, 2020.

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