Educators push to close pandemic gaps in student learning


GREENE & HYDE COUNTIES, NC (WITN) – Many parents’ fears are coming true as reports from the state Department of Public Instruction show that students, on average, have fallen behind their academic pace by two 15 months after their education was interrupted by the pandemic.

“School is a sad place without all the kids, and we got them back. We’re so happy to have them back, and they’re so happy to be back,” the elementary school principal said. Mattamuskeet, Allison Etheridge.

The instruction is more like it was before the pandemic. Now, on the other side of fully remote learning, data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows where students have fallen behind in their learning.

Mathematics education has been hardest hit. Students also fell behind in ESL classes from two months and one week to seven months and three weeks.

“We have some gaps that we haven’t seen in many years,” West Greene Elementary School principal Phil Cook said. “[Teachers] did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they all do every day. They’re growing these students, and I’m very happy to see the gains at the end of the school year because I know from the data we’re looking at right now that our kids are growing.

According to the NCDPI, students will need intensive academic intervention to catch up on hundreds, if not more than a thousand hours of coursework that they could not capitalize on, if they are to get back on track.

“We had to really dig into how we’re going to teach these skills to our students because we normally don’t have to,” Cook said. “We had a lot of professional development, guided resources, dug deep and got our hands dirty and started working with our students at the small group tables on differentiating work to meet those needs. They come to us with weaknesses we haven’t seen in years.

Everyone is on deck to fill in the gaps for some of the state’s youngest learners.

“You pull a student who is in need, whether it’s your student or not, because at the end of the day, they’re all our students and the goal is to get everyone where they need to be,” said Etheridge.

The focus is not only on academics, but also on social and emotional learning.

“Our second graders had never had a normal school year,” Cook said. “We made sure our teachers knew this so that when our students came to us, we were very

In an attempt to help students catch up, the state introduced several upcoming summer programs focused on learning recovery using Department of Instruction pandemic relief funds. public.

This summer, a “Career Accelerator” program will focus on preparing students in sixth through 12th grade for careers either outside of high school or outside of college.

A “Summer Bridge Academy” will be available for kindergarten, sixth, ninth and twelfth graders.

Two weeks before the start of the next school year, these students will focus on math and English, projects and field trips, among other things.

The state will also run a math enrichment program for students in grades four through eight for before and after school programs designed to help students accelerate their math learning and get back on track. .

Schools can register for the program in July.

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