We are two months into our e-learning institute at Hephzibah Home and most of our kids are doing well thanks in large part to our incredible staff who have improvised and supported them while they transition to remote learning.
All-day screen time was exhausting for so many of the kids, especially the youngest ones. We worked with their teachers to add in more recess breaks and we created “chill zones” in each of our classrooms with sensory items that help the children relax and reset so they can focus on their school work when they go back to their chromebooks for more e-learning.
We’ve hired extra staff to accommodate these high-need children during remote learning and we are so grateful to have the extra hands, especially the special education teachers! We were only able to hire these extra staff members due to the support of our donors; these teachers work one-on-one with the children who are having the most difficult time and have been vital in helping them succeed.
In addition to extra staff members, we also purchased extra-large room dividers so that the children wouldn’t get distracted by their friends in neighboring rooms. This has helped tremendously as the kids concentrate on their school work without extra sound and noises.
Several of the children living at Hephzibah Home will be returning to school in-person at their therapeutic schools – these schools have much lower student/teacher ratios and are for children with the highest needs. We are happy that they will be returning but are being very careful in training them how to interact safely once they leave the home. Our kids have not been out of our care since before COVID hit in March and a bit of reorientation will be needed.
Covid-19 has been difficult on all of us as we confront the isolation and stress of the pandemic; we are so thankful for our generous donors who have stepped up to allow us to provide the extra care needed by the children of Hephzibah Home. Even in such a trying time, the resilience of these kids is remarkable.