Academic Ramifications of COVID-19 School Closures
Just what are we going to do about “covid slide?”
After about 8 weeks of “remote learning” in CT and elsewhere, many educators have begun asking this question.
Despite the tremendous efforts of everyone involved, our kids just aren’t learning as much remotely as we’d hoped after CT schools first closed mid-March.
As CNN reporter Laura Jerritt aptly writes, “cyber learning might be optimal for some students,” but “many others fare better—academically, emotionally, physically—surrounded by their peers in a classroom with a teacher up front commanding their attention and orchestrating their efforts” (“Experts caution ‘covid slide’ looming for children out of school.” Laura Jerritt & Yon Pomrenze. CNN online. 5/4/20).
What we’re grappling with now is how to address this loss of learning either before or at the beginning of next school year. I know of several CT school districts already planning to reformulate next year’s curricula to fill essential skill gaps.
Although there is probably no way around this option, increasing next year’s academic load will likely add to already high stress levels for both teachers and students.
With summer ahead of us, however, we can make up some if not all of this lost ground before heading into next school year. Some CT parents have already scheduled tutoring for their children in June, to build essential skills especially in reading, writing, and math. With this kind of focused, individualized attention, students can cover significant academic ground in a short amount of time.