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December 16, 2020 Meeting Minutes - "Don't Let the Pandemic Stop You From Advocating for Your Child"

PALS Meeting Minutes

December 16, 2020 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education. We discussed:

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It's Okay to Ask for What You Need, Even in a Pandemic


Ten months into the pandemic we find ourselves tip-toeing around things we previously took on with full steam. With compassion for others in mind we are less likely to advocate for our children. Knowing teachers are bending over backwards to take care of their students makes parents reluctant to ask for what we know our children need. As parents we need to remember two things:


Don't let the pandemic stop you from advocating for your child.

Students aren't failing, they are surviving a pandemic.


We've been busy over the last ten months talking about what is happening in the present and near future, which is what we do when in survival mode. It's important to remember that events like this change all of us forever. Our personal and collective experiences during this time will not magically disappear. We need to be prepared to support our children and each other throughout and beyond the time of COVID.


It was made clear at the beginning of the school year that the state expected school districts to meet the standards of a typical school year. After a strange spring and a summer off, the mandates seemed possible, however, we're learning it comes at a cost. Some students are being left behind. Some students are failing, whether it's one subject area or many. Many teachers are willing to help students during their (the teacher's) lunch breaks and others times of the day. This is a global crisis:



The question then becomes, what are the mental health ramifications for our students and teachers? How thin can we as a society stretch educations are pupils before they break? The concern for their mental health is real and more valuable than grades. Stress, anxiety, and depression are rising among both groups with little end in sight. So what can be done?



Parents shared concerns about their children needing more support in reading and math. While some students are in reading and math support classes others are not. Some students in these support classes have them included in their IEPs, others do not. This reminds us that even when students receive supports that are available to ALL through a school's MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) initiative, that service can still be included in the student's IEP. For more on MTSS visit PaTTAN.


In addition, parents of elementary age students suggested Zearn and Moby Max for additional math and reading support at home. Students in FCASD receive Zearn log-ins to use at home. For more information please visit Zearn and Moby Max.

Next Meeting: January 27, 2021 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

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SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

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