Learning Loss and Recovery
Students are still recovering from their learning loss that occurred in March of 2020. They have had a hard time emotionally, physically, and academically.
Challenges from getting along with others on the playground to holding a pencil are everyday occurrences that teachers are facing.
Keeping students engaged has been a constant struggle these past few years. Considering all of this, school districts need to be creative when it comes to addressing the learning loss of their students.
Having a flexible schedule has allowed my district to better meet the needs of our students. Having “Help Fridays” is just one way that the Middle School and High School encourages students to continue to do their best and turn in their assignments to earn incentive days. In the younger grades, if students need additional interventions, they stay until the end of the day while others are dismissed an hour earlier each day. This way students can receive a second dose of reading and math in a smaller group setting.
After School Tutoring
With additional funding, our students are encouraged to stay after school and participate in tutoring for reading and math. Some students are identified while others are from parent requests. There is a set schedule for this program and parents will be required to provide transportation.
Our district has been able to extend the length of summer school to help prevent the traditional summer learning loss. Students are identified based on their end-of-year test scores. Students receive additional help to prepare for the next grade and fill in any learning gaps. During the summer months, we have established a four-day week to accommodate vacations and family time. Parents are encouraged to sign up their child for at least one 3 week session but may sign up for more.
In school, Intervention programs have been put in place to help students. All students have been screened or tested in reading and math to help identify Tier 2 students as part of the district-wide RTI model.
All teachers have been trained on reading and engagement strategies to help increase the learning of all students.
We have added coaches and paraprofessionals to help with academic support. With the addition of these staff, we can offer smaller class sizes and reduce the workload of all teachers. Additional staff in behavioral rooms has also reduced the teacher-student ratio in behavioral and special education classrooms.
Last year, our teachers piloted a new reading and math curriculum. These textbooks will enable us to meet the standards as well as identify deficiencies that students lack. However, with these programs, teachers need to monitor student progress to determine if any additional interventions are needed. Additionally, students, at their parent’s request, are allowed to check out devices and hotspots to continue learning at home.
There is no easy fix. With schedule changes and additional support in place, students will have the opportunities to recover from their learning loss.