Special education impacted by COVID-19


MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools across Texas to switch to virtual learning, this also includes special education schools.

Sarah Solsbe has been sending her 4-year-old daughter to the Bynum School for special needs children. When the pandemic forced Solsbe’s daughter to attend school from home, she said it was a challenge for both of them.

“Suddenly, you have to become the caretaker of your child instead of sending your child to school,” Solsbe said. “The kids here, they get so many therapies, they get so many extra things on top of just their education. There was a lot of fear of regression of my kid not progressing with her social delays, and speech delays and things like that.”

While Solsbe kept her daughter home for two months in the spring, she was not the only parent who had become a full-time caretaker.

Dr. William Maurer, Executive Director of Bynum School, said they have been continuing to provide their resources even though some students may not be in the building.

“We’re able to provide some distance learning, even some of our therapies were provided online,” Dr. Maurer said. “Our teachers also prepared packets for students so parents can come an pick them up.”

Since Bynum is a year-round school, they have returned to in-person classes this summer, but with precautions. Solsbe said she has now let her daughter return to school and is comfortable in doing so.

“I feel like my daughter is safer here than if I took her to the grocery store where people are always taking off their masks,” Solsbe said. “I’ve never seen anybody have their mask below their nose here.”

Solsbe also hopes the public will do their part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, so all children can go back to school safely.

“Out of everybody in this pandemic, our children are the ones that it’s worth us at least trying to protect,” Solsbe said. “So what we have to do is wear a mask and wash our hands so that our children can be safe and go to school, that’s what we all need to be doing.”

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