Cool Schools: Magnolia Speech School

Cool Schools

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The transition to school from home could be especially difficult for students with atypical learning abilities. But teachers at Magnolia Speech School are working extra hard with parents to maintain some normalcy.

The school caters to students with communication disorders. But during the statewide stay-at-home order, the vital learning has taken a different form. Something the school’s executive director says they’ll be willing to use in the future, to expand. “Our children are doing Zoom individually with the teachers and the parents. And they’re also doing classroom Zooms,” Executive Director Valerie Linn said.

Mary Hunter Sharp has kindergarten and first grade boys who struggle with speech and language. She says face-to-face learning can’t be replaced, but teachers have been doing a great job keeping them on track virtually.

“I have very much enjoyed seeing the teachers at work…You know the teachers might tell me that my child may be struggling with this or have these tendencies when they’re doing certain learning activities. And now I get to see them and experience them firsthand. And that’s been really good for me as a parent to see in the future how to meet the needs of my child,” Sharp said.

Teachers are recognizing the challenges parents have from balancing the non-traditional schooling and working from home. “One teacher even said, ‘I can tell you’re stressed, what can I do to help you?’,” Sharp said.

“Really there’s a culture in every school, and ours is one of just a family,” Linn said.

The school is funded heavily by donations. Their big fundraiser was rescheduled due to the pandemic, with no guarantee it will happen. Even though they are in the middle of expanding, Linn says they’re thinking of families, not money. “Do we need donations? Yes, we do. But now is not the time. There are other people who are just trying to put food on the table,” Valerie said.

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