‘Is he going to fail?’: Single father worries about teen with special needs quarantined without learning assistance


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake father, concerned about his son’s education, wants answers about why his son wasn’t provided his 504 special learning program once he was forced to quarantine.

The single father, who wished to remain anonymous, said he hasn’t gotten answers from teachers and administrators after his son was exposed to COVID-19 at Western Branch High School.

“He didn’t get any special accommodations for his 504 plan,” said the father. “It was just, ‘As long as you email the school, they will count him absent, but it would be excused.'”

His son suffers from ADHD and the father works full-time, so he can’t watch over his son like his teachers do during the school day.

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“With him being home by himself as a 15-year-old with all the distractions of uh, you know, he’s got a dog, and video games, computers, especially the phone, TikTok. Uh, he can’t focus,” he said.

We reached out to the Virginia Department of Education to see what the guidance is for students with disabilities who are quarantined at home.

In a memo they sent to superintendents in August, it says, “school divisions must ensure that students with disabilities are offered a free and appropriate public education” when quarantined.

Chesapeake Public Schools told 10 On Your Side they encourage parents to reach out directly to teachers and administrators with concerns they have regarding their child’s learning during quarantine.

The father just worries whether his son can catch up.

“My frustration is, is he going to fail,” said the father. “Unfortunately by the time I see he has missed the assignment, they’ve already moved to something else. And then he’s frustrated because he has so much make-up work, and it’s just a vicious cycle.”

On Monday, Oct. 4, panelists from the Chesapeake Health Department and Chesapeake Public Schools shared information regarding quarantine and isolation protocols, student-athlete testing, continuity of learning, and communications.

A link to the webinar can be found here and other continuity of learning resources can be found here.

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