Face-to-face teaching at the special schools: Many parents have canceled their children – Stuttgart

By Viola Volland

Viola Volland (vv)Profile

January 14, 2021 – 6:00 a.m.

Protective masks are available in the Margarete Steiff School.  Photo: Lichtgut / Max Kovalenko

Protective masks are available in the Margarete Steiff School.

Foto: Lichtgut / Max Kovalenko

At most SBBZ, face-to-face classes began on January 11th. For fear of infection, significantly more parents leave their children at home than in previous months. That brings with it a new problem.

Local: Viola Volland (vv)

Stuttgart – Apparently, many parents of disabled children are afraid that their child could be infected with the corona virus when it goes back to school. The special educational counseling centers with a focus on mental, physical and motor development have resumed classroom teaching since January 11th. Parents are free to leave their children at home. If you ask around at the Stuttgart SBBZ, a significant proportion of the parents make use of it. The Margarete Steiff School (MSS) and the Helene Schoettle School (HSS) recorded a particularly high number of cancellations.

At the Margarete Steiff School, according to the headmistress Marita Lang, 16 children were in distance learning before the school closed in December, now there are 41. With 164 pupils in total, that makes up a quarter of all pupils. This is an enormous challenge for the school: to manage face-to-face and distance learning in parallel. “It’s a problem that I can’t solve right now,” says Lang. The children in distance learning unfortunately only received a fraction of the funding. The parents of children belonging to the risk group would accordingly be faced with the dilemma of having to choose between health and education. In doing so, they had developed very good concepts for distance learning, but since all teachers were required in face-to-face teaching, they could not apply them, unlike in the case of alternate teaching. Distance learning in combination with emergency care would have been better found at MSS than the current solution.

From incomprehension to relief

At the Helene Schoettle School, 70 percent of the children are there and 30 percent have been canceled, reports headmaster Andreas Thiemke, who was surprised by the decision to open the school type completely. “We expected that there would be emergency care”. Thiemke points out that it is now difficult for parents to justify to employers that they want to leave the children at home. The mood among parents is mixed: “from complete lack of understanding” to opening up “to we are happy that our children can come to school.” The situation is stressful for the teachers: “We are looking for solutions, it requires a lot of energy to do justice to everyone. ”

It looks a little different at the Bodelschwingh School – 20 of the 110 children were canceled. “We are surprised ourselves that so many are there,” says headmistress Andrea Regner. Distance learning is taken over by the teachers belonging to the risk group. “It’s still okay,” says Regner. Katja Kuklinski, the director of the Gustav Werner School, says something similar: “We can do it to that extent.” If around five pupils were released before the lockdown, around 15 of the 123 pupils are now the parents of children with Down’s syndrome made use of the option to unsubscribe. They are concerned about the increased risk of death for them with Covid-19. “We move in the field of tension between good educational opportunities and concern for health protection,” says Kuklinski.


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