Huntsville City Schools working to help students with disabilities
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a sign on the side of a building: Students with special needs will get therapy here.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville city school district is looking to help students with disabilities, especially now that students will be participating in class remotely for the first nine weeks of the school year.

When the symbolic bell rings on the first day of remote learning, many students will head to their home desks and computers.

For special needs students that go to a Huntsville city school, they may start their day at the Calvary Hills multipurpose facility.

Elizabeth Long is the director of special Education for Huntsville City schools.

She said in-person therapy is required in some cases of disabilities.

“For academic services we feel those can be more delivered virtually,” she said. “But when you are speaking of a therapeutic service, that requires physical assistance or touch.”

Whether your child needs speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or behavioral services, Dr. Long said they’ll have the services available in separate therapy rooms.

Long said deciding who will participate in the program will be a group effort.

She said teachers will have a conversation with parents of special needs children and they’ll decide together.

“These services will be for students that are in traditional yet remote for the next nine weeks. Also, for our students who are participating in HVA,” Long said.

Long said before students go through the hallways to go to their scheduled therapy sessions precautions will be set in place.

“Students will enter from one door exit another,” she said. “That way we are not cross contaminating in halls. We will have bathroom space that is cleaned between every child. We want to make sure that by bringing students in we are not increasing any risk.”

For parents who want their special needs children home, Long said they won’t miss out. They will offer therapy via the computer.

When in-person learning resumes, school officials tell us students who choose to go back to their zoned school will then get their therapy there.

For students enrolled in Huntsville Virtual Academy, they will continue to come to the multipurpose facility.

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