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Working with Learning Support

Working together from a distance—guidance for schools and early learning services

Having clear roles and responsibilities in teams around children and young people with additional learning needs will help teachers plan and deliver tailored programs while learning at home. The wellbeing of children, young people, whānau and teachers will be best supported with relevant, realistic and functional goals during the lockdown period. Recognising that priorities might have changed and staying connected with supports both inside and outside your service or school will help everyone get through this time.

If you have not already connected with them, contact your RTLB, RTLit or Ministry of Education specialists. They are working from home and have the same contact numbers and email.

Have an initial discussion

Have an initial discussion (Zoom/Skype/phone) to develop a planned approach to support. This could cover the following topics, you may already have spoken to whānau about their preferences, or they might be involved in the meeting:

  • Agree who the lead practitioner/key contact will be for the whānau and teacher.
  • If current IDP/IEP goals, behaviour and wellbeing plans remain a shared priority, decide who can support the teachers to adapt goals, methods and materials to meet this student’s unique needs while learning at home.
  • Determine how to embed supports into daily routines.
  • Establish how ongoing coaching conversations/feedback with young person/parents/teachers will help to adjust actions and plans and celebrate successes. 
  • Compile a list of essential support agencies that continue to be available for families and discuss how you can connect with these.

Continue to reflect

As a team around the child/young person, continue to reflect throughout the period that we are learning from home; as these may change over time:

  • What do we know about the child, their learning environment and the people who are supporting them?
  • What are the student’s relevant learning goals and outcomes right now?
  • What are some potential barriers while learning from home?
  • What are supports we typically use that could also be used at home?
  • Who is it important that this child/young person remains connected to at our service/school? How can we achieve this?
  • What could spark excitement and curiosity?
  • How can we use child’s interests and strengths?