As the school year kicks off with Distance Learning, special education staff in Hollister School District has taken major steps to ensure that students with special needs learn at a higher level utilizing engaging activities, digitized curriculum and low-high technology during remote instruction.
The staff in special day classes puts in extra effort to welcome their students. Ms. Julia Blankenship, SPED teacher, ensures that visual supports is utilized by the staff during instruction to help her students understand the skills they are teaching.
Ms. Gemma Castello has so much energy in providing exciting activities to keep her students at Ladd Lane special day class highly motivated. She prepares hands on science activities following the Unique Curriculum which is one of the District adopted digitized curriculum for special education.
The SPED Department ended last school year with staff trainings in June and started this month of August with more workshops in preparation for the school year 2020, according to Gwen Baquiran, Director of Special Education. This school year’s work brings a well-organized schedule for distance learning, meaningful revisions to the curriculum and activities, more professional development for our staff, and increased attention to the importance of small group support and family communication. The staff ensures that their teaching space mimics their classroom environment like Ms. Lutrella Nacar’s teaching space at home. “Starting this school year with optimism and preparation is helpful for the student learning”, according to Ms. Louise Callanta, RSP teacher at Cerra Vista.
While the start of this year is unlike any other, HSD’s dedicated and talented special education staff continues to be committed to quality program and supporting our students and families in navigating this changing landscape together. “More than ever, we need to remember that we are all in this together. This time also calls for flexibility, empathy and patience. Everyone is working harder more than ever. We are proud of our students with special needs who are so eager to learn each day. We are so thankful for the parents for their partnership. We commend the teachers and staff who never cease to go above and beyond. We look forward to a successful school year despite of the challenges”, says by Gwen Baquiran.