Research has shown that in a normal year students begin learning loss after just 2 months. The California Department of Education estimates that most public schools will have to make up nearly a year of learning loss since the pandemic and 12-16 months more for Black and Latino students.
Why this disparity? First, classrooms during COVID-19 already experienced interruption in curriculum, summer re-learning procedures, and emotional well being. Students with less access to reliable internet, a personal computer, or time with an educator have become especially prone to the gaps in educational development brought on by the onset of the pandemic. School districts around the world have had to accelerate learning, leaving many students overlooked and malsupported.
Education becoming “digital” creates exceptional challenges for many families who cannot afford internet access or live in communities without high-speed internet infrastructure. This doesn’t just apply to students: 10% of teachers are caught in the digital divide, preventing them from catering to student needs. Those fortunate enough to be provided with school-sponsored laptops and hotspots still report frequent technology outages and long wait times for IT assistance.
Black and Latino students are twice as likely as White students to have had no access to teachers during the school shutdowns. They are more at-risk of learning loss than students of districts with more live class time. Younger children not yet able to read, or even older students at a lower reading level than their classmates, are less prepared to keep up with content when apart from real-time instruction. Without access to help from their peers and educators, they risk being set even further behind.
This problem is compounded over the summer, because poorer families may not have access to resources to make up the same “learning gaps” as their peers. Without resources to spend on high-quality enrichment programs, camps, or tutors, these students have even more to catch up on in the Fall.
Impact on Emotional Well Being
Without regular access to an educator, tutor, or a group of peers, student achievement decreases by staggering amounts. The lack of social interaction dampens learning development and according to a 2021 McKinsey report, has caused 35 percent of parents to become “very or extremely concerned about their children’s mental health” in the past year.
Elementary school students have struggled to develop listening skills and social independence during their critical development years, a symptom of “Zoom Fatigue” and being forced online for hours each day. The imposed social separation is now higher than ever among older students, who have had to stay home to care for their younger siblings as a result of shut down elementary schools and day care facilities.
This separation from peer groups and classroom environments hinders long term social development and academic motivation, especially in minority populated school districts.
What Can Be Done to Help Students and Families?
Services like Intervene K-12 are here to help. Intervene K-12 is a Comprehensive Data-Driven Intervention Program with High-Dosage Online Tutoring. In other words, we harness the power of data-driven technology to fill the gaps in education disparity. We’re here to make sure no child is left behind.
We improve student academic outcomes through deep analyses of:
- Student Skill Deficits
- Differentiated Lessons
- Live Online Small Group Personalized Instruction
Learn more at intervenek12.com/