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School District leaders develop plan for students with special needs

School district leaders address how students with special needs can maintain success when school starts this fall.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The transition from in-person learning to virtual learning can be tough for any student, especially those with special needs and who may rely on therapy.

In 2016, more than 32,000 children in Alabama were identified with a specific learning disability, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. School district leaders say their virtual learning includes tele-therapy for students with special needs.

"We are going to do everything we can, to provide students those services through tele-therapy and also train the parents on how to work with your student at home," says Huntsville City Schools, Director of Special Education Services, Elizabeth Long.

Huntsville City Schools offering an 'Individualized Distance Learning Plan' which is used to determine the type of services including in-person or, therapy via computer screen, also known as tele-therapy.

It's based on a student's IEP or 'Individualized Education Program'.

"In that plan that basically helps parents and helps students to understand what their IEP when they are at home learning," 

However, in the event that in-person therapy is required, long says one to one, or in some cases two-to-one therapy with students will be held at the Cavalry Hill Community Center.

"We've created specialized therapy rooms here for all the different areas so that we can bring students in and provide therapy services."

Madison County Schools' outline also includes in-person, tele-therapy for students with special services.

"Our plan does call for some potential face to face instruction, if that's what it takes to meet that need," says Madison County Schools Public Relations Director, Tim Hall.

Hall says it will take a collaborative effort from the community.

"We're going to be working with local companies, and organizations and our staff to make sure that those student needs are met," says Hall.

Huntsville City Schools students and parents will be screened should they need to seek therapy in person.

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