Parents of children with special needs grateful RCSD is resuming in-person classes for them in January

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: October 29, 2020 11:11 PM
Created: October 29, 2020 10:14 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Parents of children with special needs have the decision they've been waiting for. Starting in January the Rochester City School District is resuming in-person classes for special needs students in specialized classes.  

News10NBC talked to one parent who welcomes the news after enduring several challenging weeks trying to help her daughter with her schoolwork. Once schools in the district re-opens for these approximately 800 K-12 students, they will attend four days a week giving them the hands-on interaction they need with their teachers.

It's been a tough several weeks for Clara Washington, and her daughter Jayla Morrison. As a single mother who works full time, Washington also puts time in to help Jayla with all her remote learning classes. Washington is happy Jayla will be returning back to in-person classes in January.

"I'm happy, and I'm hoping that it sticks because we're supposed to come back in September, and it just got snatched from us, and that was just heartbreaking because I know my daughter needs that face to face in-person learning," Washington said.

Jayla is a 5th grader at School Number 28. She has autism and is partially non-verbal. Remote learning for her can be challenging at times.

"She really needs somebody sitting next to her. Guiding her, directing her. She can't just be alone especially when they're asking her questions and stuff like that," Washington said.

At home, Jayla uses both an iPad, and a Chromebook which her mother says she has difficulty using. While at school Washington says Jayla does great, but since being home she's been regressing.

"She's doing her best, but she has regressed on a lot of her academics, the things she was learning," Washington said. "Regressed with even wanting to move, and do things."

As far as COVID-19 in the classroom, Washington says she's not overly concerned, because of how her daughter's classroom is configured.

"It's six kids in her classroom so that's why I'm not concerned, and they all do their own thing. They're never like all upon each other. So I know all the kids in her classroom, cause she's been in there with them before," Washington said.

Once again, parents of special needs students have the option of sending their children back to this hybrid model of schooling. Click here to read the letter the District sent out to parents about this re-opening decision.


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