A new video series featuring and supporting parents of students with significant cognitive disabilities is bringing structure—and a dose of reality—to the often-chaotic world of distance learning during the pandemic.
Real-life families across the United States volunteered to film their daily routines and learning activities on their mobile phones for the series, which offers tips for supporting children’s learning while at home. Two ICI centers—NCEO and the TIES Center—developed the short instructional videos at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.
Despite losing multiple family members and friends to gun violence—and being shot himself as a teenager – Kayvon Williams (pictured at left) graduated in 2019 from Park Center Senior High School in Osseo [Minnesota] Area Schools. Playing football, keeping a close relationship with his mother, and daily conversations with hisCheck & Connect mentor, Darren Nelson (right), made that happen, Williams says. “He [Nelson] told me, ‘Life is full of distractions, but it goes on and you have to get back on track,’” said Williams.
Developed in 1990 by ICI as an intervention for K-12 students at risk of disengaging at school or dropping out, Check & Connect is the only program found to show strong evidence of keeping students in school. The “Check” part of the program involves continuous monitoring of class attendance, behavior, and academic performance. The “Connect” part involves a mentor who oversees the monitoring and develops relationships with students and their families to improve the numbers in all three areas.
We would like to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals. If you are a DSP, your responses to this new survey will help us identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people who receive support. If you took this survey back in April or May 2020, we’d appreciate you completing it again. It will help us to see how these issues have changed over time. Your responses will be anonymous.