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Drew: School-Based Services and the Impact on Your Decisions

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

The former articles over the past several months have involved safety topics about the well-being of one’s life and lifestyle due to the coronavirus COVID-19. While doctors and scientists in their reviews of this potentially deadly virus spoke of the medical term “coronavirus” with an acute understanding while troubled, perplexed and totally bewildered by this new COVID-19 strand, the rest of the global population was totally unfamiliar with the medical term and its new strand.

This unfamiliarity changed instantaneously around the world as people died in the millions and in our country in the hundreds of thousands. 2020 will forever be synonymous with our new vocabulary word – coronavirus COVID-19.

Since it appears everyone in the U.S. and abroad are learning together with the medical and scientific community, we must take this newly acquired knowledge which seemingly evolves daily and make some life impacting decisions with sketchy medical and scientific information that can potentially impact our child(ren) and family for years, even generations to come.

Therefore, I encourage parents/guardians to use these Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) surveys in this and the recently passed articles collectively when making the decision about their child(ren)’s mode of learning – virtual, in-person or hybrid. Use your collective survey responses because the first nine weeks of school using virtual learning by many schools or school districts is ending very soon.
Below is the final survey by the CDC. It addresses questions about any school-based services one or more of your children may be receiving. It is not uncommon for students to receive these types of services.

As stated last week, reply to each question by answering 1 – Does not Apply, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Unsure, and 4 – Agree. Answering these questions, along with the other three questionnaires from prior weeks, should be helpful in determining the best educational mode for your child and household during the COVID-19 pandemic. The questions are:
If your child has Individual Education Program (IEP) or other specialized learning or behavior plan…
• My child is able to receive the required IEP learning accommodations through a virtual/at-home learning option that meets my family’s needs. If your child receives school-based learning services (e.g. tutoring before or after school) …
• My child is able to receive needed school-based learning services through a virtual/at-home learning option that meets my family’s needs.

If your child receives school-based nutrition services (e.g. school breakfast or lunch) …
• My child has an alternative to the nutrition services provided in schools that adequately meets our family’s needs [Your school district’s child nutrition
website may have this information].

If your child receives school-based behavioral services (e.g. social skills training, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy) …
• My child is able to receive needed behavioral services through a virtual/at-home option that meets my family’s needs.

If your child receives school-based emotional or mental health services…
• My child is able to receive needed emotional or mental health services through a virtual/at-home option that meets my family’s needs.

If your child attends after care (including after-school clubs and activities) provided by the school…
• My child has an alternative to the after-care services provided by schools that adequately meets my family’s needs.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is still very active, so Keeping an Eye on Safety for your child(ren) and household during these pandemic times as schools begin to reopen is essential.