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Parents and Staff at Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices Plead for Government to Open School

BROOKLYN, NY, UNITED STATES, October 26, 2020 / — In an effort to curb COVID-19 infection rates, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio closed schools in neighborhoods designated as Red Zones. After weeks of monitoring the situation, schools and businesses in the Borough Park neighborhood remain closed.

While the state has lifted restrictions on several neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn, Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices (SKHOV) has had to plead with elected officials in hopes of reopening the school and continuing to provide services for kids with special needs.

Brooklyn News 12 visited SKHOV and spoke with Anna Fridman, a mother to three young boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who attend SKHOV for its individualized educational program.

“The speech, the OT, the PT, the therapy they get in school,” says Fridman. “The school has tried everything they can; they send us videos, live chats, anything they can do to help. But unfortunately, unless the child is able to cognitively understand and participate online learning does not work.”

Anna Fridman

We should be open for the preschoolers because we have a day care license. But the mere fact that we also have a school age program here negates the whole thing. It’s horrendous.”

Dr. Joshua Weinstein, CEO and Founder of Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices

In July, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing special needs schools to reopen under strict health and safety guidelines. As of this writing, school services like the ones offered by SKHOV are required to continue online even though the school had no issues when it reopened for its summer session.

“There are six children in a classroom so there’s social distancing. There’s a self-contained bathroom so the children don’t have to go out. Lunch is in the classroom everything is right there. From the minute they walk in, to the minute they walk out,” said Dr. Weinstein.

While the school continues to be closed, parents like Fridman hope that the situation doesn’t escalate and hurt the advancements made by children like hers, “We have tremendous amount of regression, which is very, very painful as a parent to see.”

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices founded by Dr. Joshua Weinstein, offers a broad spectrum of evidence-based education and therapeutic programs to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and related disabilities in a warm and nurturing environment. As a nonpublic, nonprofit, multi-cultural school, we provide quality treatment, education, professional training and mentoring.

Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

About Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

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