Special Report

Special Education and the Pandemic: Making Up for Lost Time and Lost Opportunities

How schools are helping students with disabilities recover from diminished services and lost instructional time due to the pandemic.
October 17, 2022
Job coach Kristin Snell, right, walks with Rebecca Newlon as she pushes a cart to collect papers to shred at Valley View Elementary.
Job coach Kristin Snell, right, walks with Rebecca Newlon, 19, as she pushes a cart at Valley View Elementary School in McHenry, Ill. Newlon, who has Down syndrome, has a job-skills internship at her former elementary school.
Taylor Glascock for Education Week
The pandemic’s academic and social-emotional toll has been especially hard on students with disabilities at both ends of the age spectrum: those in the early years in need of catch-up and services; and older learners on the cusp of post-high school and the working world who require support and preparation.

This Education Week special report looks at how schools and districts are finding ways to meet those needs at a time when special education caseloads and diagnoses are rising amid acute staffing pressures and limited resources, all complicated by COVID-19's long shadow.
Coverage of students with learning differences and issues of race, opportunity, and equity is supported in part by a grant from the Oak Foundation, at www.oakfnd.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.