DENVER (KDVR) —The pandemic, for most, is in the rear-view mirror, but some of its impacts are still lingering in our schools.
According to a new study, nearly every student in grades K-12 experienced some kind of COVID learning loss.
The year and a half or two years that kids were out of school or in an untraditional environment really hurt their progress long-term. It seems that the programs, like tutoring and summer school, weren’t enough.
The Center For Research On Education Outcomes team at Stanford University conducted a study and tracked learning patterns in 16 states to see how recovery efforts will affect students’ academic careers and found that only about 75% percent of students will hit 12th-grade benchmarks – meaning one-quarter will remain undereducated.
Teachers said they’ve noticed a basic lack of study skills, digital distractions, mental health burdens, and lack of skills in collaborating with others.
Stacey Roshan, a former educator and education technology consultant, said that during the pandemic, technology was a tool but now it could be more of a crutch, especially with test taking.
“One of the things that I have my students do to prepare for a test is exactly kind of what we were talking about is making that practice test, asking them to time themselves and actually take that test. That’s where I think a parent can really help monitor,” said Roshan. “It’s very tempting to look at that or just get a little bit of extra help not even realizing that we’re leaning on that support.”
She said that once students fall behind in school, especially in classes like math, it’s a big hit to their confidence and that can be hard to get back.
Roshan said parents can put blockers on students’ devices, but older kids will often find a way around them. It’s important to start a conversation about giving themselves time limits for social media or surfing the internet, and then get back to homework.
“The most powerful way to do it, if you can, with your child is building these things, helping them set up some of these blockers together, some of these time limits together, then having a conversation if you can sit down every week and kind of look at ‘where were you spending your time?’” Roshan said.
Roshan said working as a team is a critical skill in the workforce too.
“Collaboration is so important on so many different levels. One of the things is just that it’s really learned so much from one another, that peer-to-peer learning is so strong,” Roshan said. “When it comes to sitting down together, it’s just so powerful to do that one-on-one interaction, that collaboration, and also being a team player. That is such a powerful life skill, for work, for family, for relationships, for everything.
Roshan added grades are not the only indicator of success, and parents also need to check in on students’ social-emotional health too.
She said it’s a collaborative effort between parents and teachers to help them get back on track.