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Virtual school accommodations


Backroads
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I know, I know, virtual charters aren't the best idea, but my state really cracks down on them.

That being said, my daughter is in one for various reasons.

Am I unrealistic with expectations here? The IEP took, no problem. But I feel like so many of the accommodations just fall back on me. I get that I am the most logical person to provide breaks and alternate schedules, but I feel like I'm drowning under it all. 

What doesn't help is that by the time I'm available to help my daughter in the evenings, the teachers are done for the day so I don't even have anyone to call.

I get that a lot of this is the nature of a virtual school, but I wish I had more support. My daughter meets (virtually for services) three times a week, and the teachers are very responsive during their work day.

I know these may be reaching for the stars here, but let me know what would be realistic:

1. In-person home support. A trained professional to help my daughter stay in task.

2. If not that, being able to call on teachers after usual work hours. I'm generally not one to demand others work outside their hours, but would it be so crazy to just have staff members on a different shift?

I suspect the answer is I suck it up and do better or find a different school, which may be the ways to go. I just want to know if there's any route I could look at first.

 

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On 10/4/2022 at 10:54 AM, Backroads said:

Thanks for the link. Since the school is entirely virtual, they don't have ready-made aides on hand and we are several hours from the school office. Obviously, if we were able to get an aide, they would likely attempt to hire closer to where we live. Is that correct thinking?

One worry to add to this: how could I word this so it doesn't sound like I'm avoiding my job as "learning coach" as they call it and asking for an in-home babysitter? I worry about coming across like this.

I think I may try to sew if I can hire someone. The school requires that we have someone committed to the learning coach role and apparently after talking to other parents hiring out for that isn't unheard of.

I actually teach for a virtual charter. I've never heard of a virtual school sending an in-person 1:1, but that only means as much as my experience. 

The biggest hurdle I see here is your question about learning coach vs aide. Because of the nature of the school, your kid has to have a learning coach provided by your household. We can complain all day if that's fair or not, but at the end of that day it is a charter you chose to enroll in and a public charter likely isn't set up to send out teachers to individual households willy-nilly. In my experience, most often a parent does this role, or a close relative. I've seen families hire out for it, but it's extremely unlikely you'll get the school to provide you a learning coach.

I'm sure you get this because you ask about it. I just wanted to be clear about this.

So to argue for a 1:1, you're going to have to show where your reasonable duties as a learning coach end and where your child's disability would begin. Learning coaches tend to do more or less what a 1:1 would do, so you'll need to show where the extra help is needed.

I like @Lisa Lightner 's suggestion of possibly hiring out for this, but you'll still need to be careful you're hiring for a 1:1 and not a replacement learning coach if you plan on arguing for a school-funded 1:1. Be sure you truly don't fall into the trap of using that theoretical person as a babysitter or to handle the main job of helping with schoolwork.

I can't stress enough how carefully you'll need to keep these things separate.

The way I envision this is you'll help with the meat of the lessons, but the 1:1 would be the one keeping your daughter on task, perhaps implementing the breaks and schedule.

My school has had its share of kids struggling to pay attention. Most suggestions and accommodations given are various forms of breaks, alternative schedules, and movement time. My prediction is this is what would be suggested first, do be prepared.

And if you do get that in-home 1:1, yeah, they'll likely try to hire near you. Which could be helpful if you know someone.

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My friend had a 1:1 in her home with her children attending a virtual charter school.  If you don't ask, the answer is no.  My suggestion is to ask.  If your plan is to coach after you get off of work & someone is needed during instructional hours, I'm not sure how that should play out.  My friend is a SAHM with a disability & had more than one child attending cyber school.

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Two more possiblities...

Would your daughter normally qualify for homebound instruction? This would likely still qualify her for a teacher coming in even if it is already a virtual school.

On the other end, would someone else be willing to take over as learning coach, by favor or payment?

 

 

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Re your questions:

2. (answer that one first)- You can ask if there are any people who work evenings, but I would not demand it. If it's there and available, certainly take advantage of it.

1. A 1:1 aide or something, the location shouldn't matter. But you will have mindsets and biased thinking to overcome. honestly, if you're putting a 1:1 aide in an IEP, what difference does it make where that aide/para goes? But the traditional bias will be "only in the school building." You can get it added, but it will be a journey.

The process will be the same (see link below)

 

ANother thought--can you private pay someone to do this? Even if for only a few hours a day, that might be a way to lessen the burden, and start to collect data that your child does better with this accommodation.

 

https://adayinourshoes.com/one-on-one-aide-paraprofessional-iep-special-education/

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4 hours ago, Lisa Lightner said:

. A 1:1 aide or something, the location shouldn't matter. But you will have mindsets and biased thinking to overcome. honestly, if you're putting a 1:1 aide in an IEP, what difference does it make where that aide/pa goes? But the traditional bias will be "only in the school building." You can get it added, but it will be a journey.

Thanks for the link. Since the school is entirely virtual, they don't have ready-made aides on hand and we are several hours from the school office. Obviously, if we were able to get an aide, they would likely attempt to hire closer to where we live. Is that correct thinking?

One worry to add to this: how could I word this so it doesn't sound like I'm avoiding my job as "learning coach" as they call it and asking for an in-home babysitter? I worry about coming across like this.

I think I may try to sew if I can hire someone. The school requires that we have someone committed to the learning coach role and apparently after talking to other parents hiring out for that isn't unheard of.

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19 hours ago, JSD24 said:

My friend had a 1:1 in her home with her children attending a virtual charter school.  If you don't ask, the answer is no.  My suggestion is to ask.  If your plan is to coach after you get off of work & someone is needed during instructional hours, I'm not sure how that should play out.  My friend is a SAHM with a disability & had more than one child attending cyber school.

This is helpful to hear. In this school, the actual instructional hours actively with a teacher are less than an hour, so the majority of the time is more on our schedule. My biggest trouble is going over the work with her while trying to keep her on task and focused. I have no issue remaining coach, I just feel over my head. 

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I also have questions on this situation. I guess I am personally frustrated that these virtual schools require a learning coach. I know and I get it that someone has to supervise the student at home, but I wish the schools would help families find someone to do this. 

In my personal circumstances, I'm also frustrated with how so many accommodations are put back on me. Because we have immune issues in our house, my kids cannot go to school for IEP services, and I and my partner work during the day. I have been fighting for two months for the virtual school to provide in-home help. My kids are non-verbal and I don't have the training the teachers have.

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5 minutes ago, Silvery said:

I also have questions on this situation. I guess I am personally frustrated that these virtual schools require a learning coach. I know and I get it that someone has to supervise the student at home, but I wish the schools would help families find someone to do this. 

In my personal circumstances, I'm also frustrated with how so many accommodations are put back on me. Because we have immune issues in our house, my kids cannot go to school for IEP services, and I and my partner work during the day. I have been fighting for two months for the virtual school to provide in-home help. My kids are non-verbal and I don't have the training the teachers have.

The only care I've heard for the matter is if they qualify for homebound care. I've been told by an advocate they can't cover parental needs that way, like a nanny. Which I totally get, but it doesn't make it easier.

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