Temporary switch to digital learning an issue for Gwinnett special needs students, parents say

Some Gwinnett County parents of special needs children say the temporary switch to digital learning following a rise in COVID-19 cases poses lots of problems for them.

The associate superintendent says the spike in cases has lead to staffing shortages which directly affects in person learning.

"Staff are having to join classes together. They are having to cover other people's classes. We do have subs, but there is a shortage there too," Associate Superiendent of Operations, Dr. Steve Flynt remarked.

RELATED: Gwinnett County Public Schools to move to digital learning temporarily

Here is a snapshot of absences for Wednesday, Jan 13.

Just under 1,000 people were out sick for the day, 801 of those were COVID-19 related, with 465 teachers out and 336 staff members. 

The change to online learning is understood, but not welcomed by some parents, especially those who have children with special needs.

"That IEP cannot be met digitally. There is not one part of it for my son, who is non verbal. He can not turn on a computer. He can not work a tablet. He cannot do any part of his gials digitally," mom Meagan Nash complained.  

"The fact that he has special needs, it makes me very concerned that he won't be able to keep up with the learning. He wasn't able too when we had digital learning before. Emotionally it was hard for him. He was very depressed," mom Meredith Hilton revealed.

Gwinnett school officials say they will continue to watch the numbers next week and hope students will be able to return January 25. 

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