The Lehmann and Schroth Schools serve children with multiple physical and developmental disabilities. We are committed to provide our students with opportunities to connect and grow. Since our students and teachers cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting at this time, the schools have implemented e-learning and supplemental activities for all students, allowing them to continue their education through remote learning and via their web-based curriculum. The virtual lessons were ready to go the first day the buildings were closed.
LADACIN’s academic programs implement Creative Curriculum, one of three New Jersey State approved curriculums, which provides guidance for working with preschool children with disabilities, and Unique Learning System, for students of all ages, a program designed specifically to give students with complex learning needs meaningful access to the general education curriculum.
The schools educational plans utilize ClassDojo, an educational technology communication app and website. It connects school teachers, students and families through communication features, such as a feed for photos and videos from the school day. ClassDojo allows each classroom to outline the daily schedule, similar to the schedules that are followed in school in order to promote stability. School staff conduct read alouds, load lessons from Creative Curriculum and add resources like posting supplemental free apps and websites. LADACIN’s instructors are teaching virtual lessons in small groups and individually, as well as holding classes on Zoom. Specials teachers are recording Art, Music, PE, and Technology lessons. The schools’ educators are providing help videos for families who are struggling with child behaviors and track parent communication with classroom staff. School nurses are able to create virtual health lessons.
At this time, the Agency is in the process of training all therapists and families on Teletherapy. Teletherapy is providing therapy through a live video connection, over the internet. LADACIN is providing therapists and families with multiple resources and trainings to ensure success. Staff members are increasing the offering of parent trainings on facilitating therapy to ensure they feel confident in their roles.
LADACIN is proud to say our students are flourishing in their new educational environments. School staff, educators, therapists, parents and students alike are all adjusting seamlessly. The Agency is receiving much positive feedback on the new and innovative approaches used in their educational programs. One parent submitted a photo of her son Alex, a Schroth School student, with his twin brother, Erik, and commented “The first day of remote learning Erik was so excited to help Alex on the computer! Erik’s enthusiasm made Alex more excited. You can see how focused both boys are, it was so sweet I felt the need to snap a picture”. The Agency will continue to support our students and families and remain committed to our own ongoing education in the exciting new virtual world of learning.
Lisa Graul, LADACIN Network’s Director of Children’s Programs said “There aren’t enough words to explain the pride associated with the collaboration and communication between our staff, families, districts and other stakeholders. We are so thankful to have such wonderful supportive relationships to get us all through this time together.”