Mississippi Education Connection


Mississippi Education Connection | MS Charter Schools

Today on Mississippi Education Connection we discuss Charter Schools in Mississippi with our guest, Dr. Lisa Karmacharya, Executive Director for the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board. Listen as she talks about her role as Executive Director, their mission and plans for reopening in the fall. Plus, we will talk to Yolanda Davis who has a child enrolled in a charter school to get a parent's perspective.

For more information on Charter Schools in MS visit: https://www.charterschoolboard.ms.gov/

If you're transitioning your child to a new school this fall, it's important to realize that this change isn't going to be a walk in the park, but it won’t be a disaster either. Here are a few tips to help with the transition to a new school:

  • Talk It Out
  • Ask your child questions about how they feel, what they are most excited about and what they are worried about
  • Keep calm 
  • Take a deep breath and don’t over-think or question your decision or situation too much
  • Use online resources
  • Read teacher blog posts, school newsletters and join Facebook groups. If your town has School Choice, try to read up and visit as many schools as possible to get a feel for them
  • Be an advocate for your student
  • If your child has special needs of any kind, don’t hesitate to connect with teachers or specialists that you think will benefit from learning a bit more about your child before school starts
  • If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or needs special services, find out what is available in the school for your family. If you have concerns about the school, talk to other parents to see if they have similar concerns. You may find that you are worried for nothing or that parents are working together with the school to make changes. This could be a great way to get involved
  • Keep old back-to-school routines
  • Sticking with as many familiar routines or rituals as possible will make those first days back less overwhelming. Play it cool and treat day one like any other first day of school. After everyone is settled in, celebrate the successful transition

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Mississippi Education Connection| How to Help Your Special Needs Child Get the Most Out of Home School During Coronavirus Isolation

Transitioning to teaching your kids at home during coronavirus school closures can be hard for many families, but parents of kids with special needs face unique challenges. Listen as we speak with Robin Lemonis, Director of Special Education and Dr. Nathan Oakley, Chief Academic Officer with the MS Department of Education about how to help your special needs child get the most out of distance learning.Tips of the Week:* Keep consistent check-in with your child’s school, teachers and therapists about:How educational and therapeutic service delivery may change in the coming weeksIf schools offer distance-learning opportunities to students without disabilities, the same support should be offered to students with disabilities. Don’t feel pressured to exactly replicate school and therapy at home. With flexibility, you may identify new ways to learn and grow together that would be more difficult in a typical time.* Seek helpWhether your child has a disability or they're feeling extremely stressed, there are disability or condition-specific organizations and support groups that can provide helpful information and social support. Reach out to local organizations to see if they offer virtual support groups or have active email listeners that send out information and resources.* Encourage children to talk about their feelings .Children with disabilities often experience feelings of social isolation from their peers, and social distancing policies related to COVID- 19 may amplify these feelings.Give your child opportunities to discuss these feelings and brainstorm ways for your child to interact with others through texting, phone calls, video chatting and other virtual platforms.