It has been just eleven days since I got word my district was closing for nearly a month. That was not how this was supposed to go. We were going to go to work. The blog that we had been working on for a month would get published this week. Though, to be fair: no one thought this was supposed to go any direction. So for the time being, I am at least all right; my associates at Inclusion From Square One are also all right. Helping out where I can. Mostly staying home and figuring out things as they go along. Except this derailed our original thoughts for this quarter’s Square One pursuit.
I suppose if we were a larger organization, we’d have this quarter locked already. But that is nice though, we can change our plans on a pivot. Like the majority of the world seems to be doing.
At this time we would like to remind people to follow the directions of their local government. It has little to do with how certain individuals are not at all infected but a lot more to do with how to keep high-risk populations based on age, overall health, and pre-existing health conditions: something many people with disabilities and also have.
For schools navigating the balance between supporting all learners with social-emotional health and their academic ability, we applaud you, but we would also like to give you some support. I am in conversations with several individuals right now. A new webpage is coming shortly to help teachers and families address this need.
There are many conversations happening in school districts across the country about equity and innovation with the idea that schools may be shuttered for a long time at this point. How that looks and what that looks like varies based by district. Some districts have put into place some programs they have. Others are building those programs from the ground up. However, equity is the key. There are students who do not have computers or internet, the students who cannot use regular devices, the students who have other language needs, the students who need the routine that they miss from going to another location does not look the same does not act the same, does not access the material as deeply as they might if the student were at school. And because a student is at home, the attention draw is very different. And this is especially true if the student does not have a supportive academic environment. Balancing all these different needs is a challenge in the best of circumstances. Stepping up and reminding the students of the relationships we have established is perhaps the best advice we can give. Some students are missing out on consultation minutes with a service, some students are dealing with the year being very different.
Stepping up and reminding the students of the relationships we have established is perhaps the best advice we can give.Renay H. Marquez
We were initially planning a week of discussions about friendships and people with disabilities, how to find the ‘equality’. This week, however, working with some of my colleagues across the country, I’m also reminded of the fact that not only are many people lucky to have some collaborative video conferencing not just to reach out to colleagues and family, but to allow children to connect with their peers. However, young children, those who are under the age of six, still need that contact of another person. That the skills for young children especially in preschool are wrapped up in turn-taking and sharing and while those skills can happen digitally, they are much more real to a child in preschool when the world is right in front of them.
Inclusion From Square One will not publish further during March 2020, check our social media when we have changes. We wish you and your family health and peace as the world recovers. We shall return in July 2020.