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How Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children is using technology to continue distance learning

Preschool teacher, parent describe adjusting to online learning

SAN ANTONIO – Families across the nation are adjusting to school at home amid the pandemic while instructors at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children continue to teach students online.

“I record instructional videos every day and then send it to the parents so that they can view those videos at their convenience,” said Holly Mason, preschool teacher at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children.

Mason said she also meets weekly with parents online.

“We meet weekly to talk about the child's listening and language goals and speech goals and how we can help support listening and language development at home,” Mason said.

Mason said a parent’s role is very important during the pandemic.

“We are shifting greatly to parents who are having to take the primary seat. But what parents forget is that they were the first teacher. Parents are the first teacher their child’s ever going to have,” Mason said.

Whitney Weaver, who has two children who attend Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, said there have been some challenges.

“At this age, it’s a little different because they aren’t going to just sit down for an hour or more of online instruction. So a lot does shift to the parent to facilitate that learning,” Weaver said.

Weaver said she is confident her children will continue to stay on track with the resources the teachers are providing.

“With the tools that Sunshine Cottage has provided, we’ve been able to continue that learning and implement the strategies and all of the language targets and everything here at home,” Weaver said.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

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