There are two major reasons Delaware schools aren’t closing yet. Equity and special education. It all comes down to the digital learning environment school kids will be exposed to. School districts are worried about potential lawsuits.
For special education, federal IDEA law demands students get accommodations for their disabilities in an educational environment if their disabilities interfere with their ability to succeed academically. With digital learning from home, how would those accommodations happen? Disability Scoop covered this topic today in an article.
The Education Department said that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act do not specify what should occur if schools are closed for an extended period of time, which is considered more than 10 consecutive days. However, schools should generally offer the same level of services to students with disabilities that they are providing to other children.
As for equity, what about those families that don’t have wifi or bandwidth, or for that matter, computers, for their children to access digital learning from home. That is a huge concern. If they don’t receive instruction how can they even grasp educational material? What happens when the students return and those who were not able to get the digital learning are woefully behind?
These are the concerns the districts are having. And while we are in a state of emergency at not just the state level but the whole country, it does open up the possibility of litigation. But what is more important? Money or the health and well-being of not just students but every single citizen in the state? With all the ed-tech personalized learning, how did these get-rich quick companies not prepare for a day like this? But I digress…
So Governor Carney needs to be the one to make the call according to the districts. But will he? Or will he leave it up to the districts? As the risk and danger to Delaware citizens continues. Don’t believe what the Secretary of Health in Delaware is saying. About schools being safer. They aren’t. It is just a bigger Petri dish.
Meanwhile, parents are left with a choice- do I send my kid to school or not? Some districts, like Christina, are telling parents they need a doctor’s note in order to have an absence excused. So some parents are sending kids in whether they are sick or not cause their kid has too many absences already. It is a dangerous time folks!