As schools are struggling to come up with solid plan for reopening in Falls, social media boards are full of discussions about pros and cons of reopening schools for in-person education from concerned parents. Children education is not so surprising victim of COVID-19 situation. Virtually all K-12 students in the United States are currently missing in-person education due to COVID-19.Many parents and educators share a common worry: When the pandemic subsides, kids will return to school with lower achievement. There are also concerns that the gap between high- and low-achieving students will become larger. Degree of loss also varies from subject to subject: Math skills suffering more than Reading skills as per latest NWEA research*.
The figure below show projected math learning patterns from the beginning of the 2019-20 school year (before COVID-19 school closures) through the start of the 2020-21 school year. The solid lines represent average trajectories in a typical year with typical growth followed by normal patterns of learning loss over the summer.
While such learning loss varies from student to student, on average it is estimated at 50% as shown below in the example cases of 4th grade and 6th grade.
In the same research, NWEA highlights the need for support in Mathematics in their recommendations.
“The projections in this study and lessons from seasonal learning research present us with a moral imperative: to help students succeed academically, we must provide resources and support to families during and after this disruption, especially in mathematics, which often show the steepest losses over summers and time outside of school.”
One-way parents can provide the support to their kids in avoiding these losses is by enrolling them in math enrichment programs like ThinkForFun. Considering long term gains, costs for enrolling into such programs are self-justified. Due to COVID, many families have unused vacation funds in addition to monthly savings on the gas due to work from home situation for some families. This extra savings can be used for supporting such activities.
While many losses due to COVID are irreparable and cannot be undone, kids’ education and their future does not need to be one of them!