It is our responsibility to ensure that all students receive quality instruction. It is the expectation that students with disabilities will receive the same quality of instruction and participate in the general education classroom as well as district and state level testing to the greatest extent possible in accordance with both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Students with disabilities contend with barriers to learning and challenges which make it difficult for them to access materials and show what they know.
One of the biggest challenges schools and districts are facing this year is the massive teacher shortages. Finding and keeping quality educators post-pandemic has proved to be very difficult for a number of reasons. While this is a pressing issue, progress is being made. Incentives for teachers are being offered in districts nationwide, and new teachers are being hired rapidly. We must take a hard look at the key areas of need in order to determine lasting solutions.
As educators, it is critical that our students are learning in a safe, effective, and equitable environment. Our classrooms have a wide variety of learner profiles and meeting the needs of each and every student is our top priority. From ESL/ELL students to students with learning disabilities, IEPs and 504s, we must work to ensure accessibility for all students to engage them in appropriate learning experiences that meet their individual and unique needs.