Huntsville City Schools announce new plan for special education students

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Many parents of children with special needs are likely breathing a sigh of relief after the Huntsville City School district decided to allow certain special education students to receive in-person therapies.

“I think the thing that we most want our parents to know is that your child is our focus,” said Dr. Elizabeth Long, Special Education Services Director at Huntsville City Schools.

“These parents are very excited that we have options available to still meet the needs of their child while also allowing them to spend the majority of their day learning at home in a safe environment without a multitude of exposures from children,” Long added.

The therapy sessions will be taking place at Calvary Hill at 2800 Poplar Ave in Huntsville. District staff said they will be working to identify children best suited for the program and coordinating with parents. Likely candidates include students requiring occupational, physical, and speech therapies, and those who receive behavioral services. Long also made it clear that students not for the program will not be overlooked.

“These students will now have an individualized distance learning plan that each IEP school team will develop with a parent to address how we’re going to meet their needs in a remote fashion over the first nine weeks,” Long said.

For students who are chosen for the in-person program, the district said transportation will be provided, all sessions will be done on a one-to-one basis, and that stringent health and safety measures will also be followed.

“We will be taking temperatures. We will be doing daily screenings to ensure that our students are not at risk of exposure and also to protect our personnel,” Long said.

For parents who have children that may be in need of these therapies, but are uncomfortable with in-person sessions, the district says teletherapy may be an option.

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