Back to School Resources

Support for Students and Families

For many of our LIFEPlan members with school age children, last year was unlike any other. When schools closed last spring due to the pandemic, parents had to take over teaching their children usually while they tried to work remotely.  

Some kids thrived while learning from home during the pandemic, but many with complex learning and developmental needs did not. Remote learning does not work for everyone and related services, like speech and physical or occupational therapy can be even more complicated. Many advocates and educators say students with learning disabilities have suffered significant academic and social setbacks which will take months if not years to recover from. 

Helpful Resources

As the summer quickly draws to a close here are a few resources that may be helpful to you as the new school year begins.  

Our new Governor has just issued a mandatory mask mandate for all schools in New York State. Many of our young members with disabilities will struggle with this requirement. Masks may also make socially reconnecting with classmates, teachers, and therapists more challenging. One parent created this “Vison Statement” template for her daughter, which could help get the year off to a good start.

Regression, both academically and socially, could be a factor for many students who struggled with virtual learning. Others just were not able to connect with the technology to access the curriculum. No child should lose a year academically. “Compensatory Time” should be discussed with your child’s special education team. If you want to learn more about how to access Compensatory Time, this upcoming webinar will be an excellent place to start. 

High school students with disabilities face so many unique challenges. In addition to exploring adult services, life skills, employment or post-secondary education, discussing your child’s diploma options can be confusing. New York State has developed multiple pathways to either a diploma or a credentialing certificate. In October, Exceptional Family Resources is offering a 2 hour virtual training on this subject. Registration is required.

If you need support or have questions, please reach out to your Care Manager for more information. We wish all of our members and their families a safe and successful school year.