A Case Study of a Foster Parent Working to Support a Child with Multiple Disabilities in a Full-Time Virtual School
AbstractWith increases in the number of students enrolling in virtual schools, increases in students with disabilities can also be expected at virtual schools. Further, not all of these students enrolling in virtual schools will live with their biological parents. As students with disabilities move online, they continue to be protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, these students spend much of the day with their parents or caregivers, if they are supervised at all, which raises questions about the depth and breadth of services that students with disabilities are receiving through their virtual schools. The purpose of this case study was to learn how a foster parent of a student with a disability in a fully online virtual middle school program perceived the school’s response to her child’s needs, as well as how she imagined that the school perceived her. This foster mother determined that virtual school educators could not educate her son in accordance with IDEA. The study offers implications for improving students’ and parents’ virtual school experiences.