Port Jervis mom says remote learning plan is failing her son with Down syndrome
A Port Jervis mom says she believes the Port Jervis School District's remote learning plan isn’t designed for students with disabilities.
Erin Witkowski’s 10-year-old son is in fifth grade and has Down syndrome. He normally has an IEP with a one-on-one aide who stays with him throughout the school day.
"When school let out in March, we knew it was a curveball,” says Witkowski. "He needs hand-over-hand assistance. He needs redirection and behavioral support."
However, Witkowski says the aide is now sitting in an empty school building and that her son, Grady, is expected to work online alone - despite requiring individualized care.
"We're seeing regression,” says Witkowski. "He needs so much assistance since I'm at work."
Both she and her husband work full-time and have three other children to care for.
Witkowski says theirpleas for a fair education are falling on deaf ears, while other families are reaching out.
“I know we are not the only ones,” she says. "I'm hearing the stories now. They're coming to me and it's given me more of a drive to make sure this will be a systematic change."
News 12 has contacted the Port Jervis School District for comment but has not yet heard back.