Richland School District will begin in-person instruction for identified groups of students receiving special education services on a part-time basis beginning Sept. 16.
The Richland School Board moved the district to Instructional Stage 2A of the Return To School Plan during its Sept. 8 regular meeting. This allows students served in special education to spend up to two days a week in schools working with special education teachers, itinerants, and paraeducators.
“This level of return to school is designed to meet the needs of students who are the furthest away from educational justice,” says Dr. Tracy Blankenship, Executive Director of Special Education. “This is an important first step in ensuring we are providing a free and appropriate public education for all of our students.”
In this initial step of the Stage 2 plan, students that receive the following services and supports will begin in-person instruction:
- Life Skills
- Extended Resource Room (ERR)
- Behavior, Education, Social Skills Training (BESST)
- students with visual impairments
- students served in special education with 1:1 paraeducators regardless of program
Students not receiving the above services but receiving some form of special services or supports may return to part-time in-person instruction in Stage 2B. Those decisions depend on the determinations of the team of parents and educators assessing each student's needs.
Special education staff are reaching out to families to begin planning for the return to school. Transportation services will be available and meals will be provided to students while in schools. No more than seven students will be working with school staff at a time.
Staff and students will follow public health requirements while in schools, including:
- completing daily health assessments before entering schools
- wearing a cloth face mask or plastic face shield
- using any other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- maintaining physical distancing when possible
- frequent handwashing
District and school staff will continue to work closely with local health authorities in addressing the risks posed by COVID-19 in the community and reporting potential cases.
The district is committed to ensuring all students will return to school as quickly and safely as possible. The Richland School Board is committed to meeting the needs of our students and will continue to review the ability to bring additional students back to school at least every two weeks.