More Special Ed Students to Return to School

The State announced earlier this month a policy to allow groups of up to 14 special need students for on campus learning. (Clovis Roundup Photo)

California’s Department of Public Health published guidelines Tuesday, Aug. 25 that will allow more students with special needs to return to campuses.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said that the current system did not adequately address the needs of special education students.

“Exceptional children have multiple trained specialists which provide the best academic, physical, social and emotional support which students need to thrive,” he said. “Parents, no matter their best intention, have not been trained in the specialized services of physical therapy, occupational therapy, hearing visual, speech, etc.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom and President of the State Board of Education Linda Darling-Hammond announced earlier this month a policy of opening up schools to students with acute needs, even in counties where school districts are closed due to high rates of COVID-19 cases.

And although schools throughout most of the state have been closed due to the coronavirus, the state will allow groups of up to 14 students to return to campus, including kids with special needs, such as those with disabilities, English language learners and kids at risk of abuse or neglect.

The rules also apply to day camps and other settings, and two supervising adults will be allowed.

With details agreed upon last week between school districts and the Fresno County Department of Public Health, the Clovis Unified School District will begin bringing individual special needs students in severely disabled, SD preschool and PALS programs to campus to provide services starting Aug. 31, district spokeswoman Kelly Avants said in a statement.

For in-person services, each student will be on campus for no more than two days a week and no more than an hour-and-a-half each day.

“Multiple other health and safety guidelines will be in place as we begin these services and we are eager to help our students who have been most challenged over the past five months begin to again be served on our campuses,” Avants said.

CUSD is continuing to examine the announcement made by the state to see how the guidance will further inform their work to meet the needs of all students.

Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.