Special Education Director says special needs students will need individual plans when returning to school

Plans for special needs students

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More than 900 students in Chilton County Schools are apart of the special education program and when it comes to returning to class, plans will look different.

Special Education Director, Michelle Coppedge, said there are 13 categories of ability that special education students can be placed in.

Coppedge said every student in the program has different needs and their plans when returning to school will be different for each child. She said it is key to individualize each student’s plan and find what works for them.

More than one hundred teachers and administrators in the special education department are calling each child’s parents to come up with an in-person or online schedule.

Because of the Governor’s order, students who do return for in-person learning are required to wear a mask. Coppedge said she is excited for students to return to classes and they are trying to make sure all rules are followed and all students are accommodated.

“Some of them medically are not able to wear a mask, so we have looked at some different options for something besides a face mask that covers their mouth,” Coppedge said. “We have looked at ways we can keep them protected with nothing on their face. We also have some kids who get super nervous when our faces are covered, so we have tried to look at things like face shields for our teachers.”

Coppedge says she doesn’t know how many students in the special education program will opt for virtual learning, but because of health concerns, she estimates it will be about 20%.

They will be offering online teaching for students that need to stay home.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.