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Understanding the Roles of Families in Virtual Learning


TEACHING Exceptional Children Volume 46, Number 5, ISSN 0040-0599


Families choose to enroll their children in fully online schools for many reasons. Online schools offer the possibility of flexible schedules and the potential to learn at a pace and in a manner that is not available to students in their brick-and-mortar schools (Cavanaugh & Clark, 2007). Because online education can allow for individualized instruction, fully online schools can be particularly appealing for families of students with disabilities. As the numbers of students with disabilities in online schools increase, families will need to understand the expectations these schools have for them and figure out their new role in these environments. The purpose of this article is to put in context the ever-changing role of the family in online learning, especially at the primary, elementary, and initial years of middle school. If teachers wish to maximize the potential of the fully online or online class experience, especially for students with disabilities, family engagement is critical. This article will consider the research about effective ways to further teacher and parent engagement, especially parents of children with disabilities. Readers will be able to connect current knowledge in the field about parent-teacher collaboration and apply these interactions to tips and strategies for the online classroom.


Currie-Rubin, R. & Smith, S.J. (2014). Understanding the Roles of Families in Virtual Learning. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 46(5), 117-126. Retrieved April 18, 2021 from .

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