Remote Learning poses problem for IEP students

Katya Tarabrina, Blue M Editor-and-Chief

Being gifted means you have certain abilities that typical students don’t possess. Often, gifted students have a lot of resources available in order for them to be successful.

But this year has proved to be a difficulty for them.

“How school is run this year, we’re not really allowed to go outside of the classroom really,” senior Jackson Harvey, part of the gifted program, said. “So that makes it difficult for us to visit our gifted teacher.”

The point of students not being able to move around the building as much is supposed to limit the exposure to other people, but this limits the amount of contact a gifted student can have with their advisor. Each gifted student has an Individual Education Plan, which involves a gifted advisor helping each gifted student meet their needs for being successful in the program. 

“A lot of my students are in advanced or AP classes,” gifted teacher Janet Stark said. “That’s been very interesting in hybrid and remote because of what we can offer and what we can’t offer.” 

Many AP classes are only being offered on-site, so if a remote learner really wanted to take that class they wouldn’t have the opportunity to. 

“It’s kind of messed up their grand scheme, their big plan,” Stark said. “They’re having to find other ways to be creative in getting the academics they really want when they can’t be offered.”

Typically, the gifted students work with their teacher and their peers to get all their questions answered. But this year with the limited time they have in class, it’s not possible for them to get the most amount of help from those resources like they would any regular year. 

“The social aspect of not being able to engage with your peers on a regular basis is difficult,” gifted teacher Lisa Julian said. 

The same as regular students, gifted students are struggling to meet their social and emotional needs during this time. 

“Finding people that you connect with is hard in high school,” Julian said. “Finding the people you click with is tough and so when you are limited even more, I think that makes it that much more difficult.” 

Though their communication is cut short, the advisors are still trying their hardest to be there for their students any way they can be. Whether that’s a phone call or a Zoom meeting, through the IEP teacher can plan to cater to each and every student to make sure they get the exact education and help they want. 

“We’re doing a whole lot of problem solving in this special education world right now,” Stark said.