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Special Education: What COVID-19 Has Taught Us and How We Can Take Lessons Learned Into Re-Entry

Thursday, May 14, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Special Education: What COVID-19 Has Taught Us and How We Can Take Lessons Learned Into Re-Entry

Presented by Eric Tucker, Executive Director, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools, NY; Anisa Phillip, SPED Coordinator, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools, NY; and Megan Gross, Special Education Teacher, Poway Unified School District, CA
Hosted by Barbara Pape, Policy and Communications Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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As COVID-19 ravaged the world, teachers and parents have turned on a dime to maintain their students’ learning journey. It hasn’t been easy. Challenges have particularly presented themselves in the special education community. How can we do IEPs online? Can teletherapy really work? What happens when a student loses their classroom aide and parents are essential workers so not available to support their children during the school day? Where are the programs to help students, parents, and teachers manage stress and grief? What will re-entry look like for the complex learners as schools begin to re-open, with the potential for more closings in the fall and winter?

In this edWebinar, we discuss the new realities of online learning for broad groups of students in special education. We outline the challenges, the bright spots where new ways of teaching and learning have been effective, and ways to build bridges to the future of special education.

In this edWebinar, we:

  • Discuss ways teachers and administrators are tackling online learning, including fulfilling IEP mandates for students.
  • Present the many bright spots of the current home-based learning. For example, the increased partnerships being formed between parent and teacher.
  • Explore how lessons learned can help reimagine education as students reenter the schoolhouse.
  • Showcase some of the free resources available for families and teachers to use to advance home-based learning for students in special education
  • Provide information on a new coalition, the Educate All Learners Alliance (EALA), that curates and shares special education resources and builds community.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders of all grade levels.


Eric TuckerAbout the Presenters

Eric Tucker is co-founder and executive director at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB). He was the director at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. As managing director of Catalyst Strategy, Eric led school design and implementation work for clients including Ascend, Excel, and Building Excellent Schools. As CAO and executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, Eric grew a national network serving 450 urban schools. Eric taught argumentation and debate in Providence and Chicago. Eric has a Doctorate from Oxford University.


Anisa PhillipsAnisa Phillip is a special education coordinator at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB). She began teaching at Hudde Middle School as a literacy specialist for ExpandEDSchools. She then served as a Math Fellow at InnovateEDU and completed a teacher residency at LAB. Anisa has taught 6th- and 7th- grade ELA, writing, and history to students in a 12-1-1 setting, where she scaffolded instruction to support student needs and encourage growth. She has a B.A. from John Jay and an M.A. in education from Relay Graduate School of Education.


Megan GrossMegan Gross is a special education teacher on special assignment in the Poway Unified School District. She has taught and facilitated inclusive education for students with disabilities at both the elementary and secondary level for thirteen years. Megan is the co-author of The Inclusion Toolbox and ParaEducate. She is the 2017 California Teacher of the Year.


Barbara PapeAbout the Host

Barbara Pape is the policy and communications director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise. She has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, writing, and policy analysis, primarily in education. Previously, she served as the executive producer of the award-winning Teaching & Learning conference, sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she developed content and oversaw outreach and communications. As a writer, she has written for numerous publications, including Harvard University, the National Education Goals Panel (U.S. Department of Education) and Parents magazine. Barbara also served as editor and publisher of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She served on the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center’s Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education Committee, serves as a judge for the Miliken-Penn Graduate School of Education Business Plan competition, and is on the Boards at the Education Writers Association and Potentia. She earned an Ed.M. at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.

Closed Captioning will be added within two weeks of the live event. 

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Digital PromiseDigital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.

Digital Promise


Thursday, May 14, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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