Supporting Learning at Home: Sample Remote Learning Schedule for a Student with Complex Learning Needs

Imagine for a moment that you are a teacher. Your Zoom link for class this afternoon isn’t working, so you send an email to your students with a new link and password. It seems very simple to follow the new direction, but you become frustrated when several students do not show up to your lesson. What went wrong? Should we blame the students for not staying organized? Or their parents/caregivers for not supporting them to “get to class”?

When we take an individual teacher’s point of view, sometimes we miss the bigger picture of how much students and families are juggling. If students and parents have multiple emails to check, multiple teachers, and support services for things like speech therapy, it becomes an even greater challenge to keep up with individual communications from multiple school staff. Imagine a family that has 5 children, 2 of which have more complex learning needs. It can be too much to manage.

The Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center advocates for schools taking a student or family centered approach to communication about students’ schedules. This sample remote learning schedule for a student with complex learning needs shows a school how to personalize a very large amount of information into a single location for a parent/caregiver and student for a whole week. This schedule would be sent to families before each week of school, preferably a couple days in advance. Details might still change last-minute, but this way there is already a system in place for families to store the information!

The more schools can do across subjects and grade levels to use the same or similar templates and modes of outreach to families and students, the easier it will be for families to help their children stay engaged in their learning from home.

This type of standardization is best if it is supported by administrators who can help teams of teachers and support staff organize themselves to do this work well.

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