What are schools doing to catch up kids who’ve fallen behind during online learning?

MADISON, Wis. – As classes begin at High Point Christian School, teachers continue to teach students in the classroom – just like they have throughout the pandemic, even when other schools went virtual.

Covid has been a challenge,” said Dr. Chuck Moore, who serves as the school’s principal. “Teachers have never worked harder in their lives.”

Moore says High Point’s commitment to in-person learning attracted dozens of additional families to enroll their children for the 2021-2022 school year. While administering baseline tests for each new student, educators at the school began to notice a trend.

We are seeing kids that are behind,” he said. “We’ve heard enough stories from parents about the challenges of virtual education, and we’ve seen it in the test results for kids as they come in.”

Moore says each test is composed of a number of basic skills students should have mastered by each grade. He says more than half of the school’s new students, who’ve spent much of the last 18 months doing school virtually, are behind.

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Do they recognize the numbers in first grade, do they know some basic addition and subtraction, facts they should probably have mastered already? When they don’t, is there any indicators we can get from the testing as to why?”

As these new students begin the year, he says teachers and other staff will focus to provide one-on-one attention.

I think that’s our focus,” he said. “If we’re to begin to help them to catch up, what do we need to do to make that happen? A lot of times, it’s extra help. Sometimes, there’s a specialist that needs to help. Sometimes, its letting the teacher know what they need to do and focus on with that particular child. And then, how can the parents help?”

The longtime educator says these are pieces of advice parents of students in any district can follow. More so, he says it’s another reason why his school worked and will continue to work to remain in person this school year.

I think almost every expert agrees that kids are going to be behind,” he said. “That’s why we work so hard here in Madison to have in person education for our kids. That’s why our teachers did double duty last year.”