b'Exceptional LearnersHow one special-ed teacher is making a difference at CHSBY MALIA RULON HERMANCHS Special Education Teacher Takia Logan, with her class on June 23, the last day of school. After months of distance learning, Logan and her students met up in person, with masks, to get their yearbooks, congratu-late the seniors and bring closure to the unusual spring semester. Front row L to R: Christian Oneyema, Takia Logan and Warren Brown. Back row L to R: paraprofessional Omatayo Mebude, Jr., known around campus as Coach OJ, John Webb-Grant, Wadney Daudin-Prophete and paraprofessional Pansy Dublin.W hen Takia Logan tookhas transformed the class into a group that she callshas become much more visible at the high school, overteachingasmall,exceptional learners.making regular visits to local stores, restaurants and multiagespecialedu- The students in Logans class range in age from 14the public library. And while these visits have been cation class at Colum- to 18 and face multiple disabilities that make educa- put on hold since classes went virtual in March due bia High School threetion in a traditional classroom difficult. Yet under theto the coronavirus pandemic, Logan has sought to years ago, the class waslaw, each child is entitled to a free and appropriatecontinue exposing her kids to new experiences and allbuthiddenaway.public education in the least restrictive environment.professions by inviting guests onto her class Google The students didnt interact much with the otherOn top of these children having a right to par- Meet calls.highschoolkids,didnthavelockers,anddidntticipate, they also have a right to be part of the com- We cant just make inclusion a buzzword, she make regular library visits. munity, Logan says, appealing to the spirit of thedeclares. We have to mean what we are saying. For Logan set out to change thatand more. Herstatute beyond its explicit text. Logan, that means the integration of special educa-efforts have been fruitful: In the past few years, sheWith her guidance, the class of about six studentstion children with their general education peers, en-16/ matters magazine / school 2020'