Parents fear learning gaps in Colorado schools because of COVID-19

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. (KDVR) — As teachers, parents, and students gear up for the return of school, many are also bracing for the impact of the COVID-19 slide.

Many teachers fear kids are not where they need to be academically to begin the school year.

Many also worry that the learning gap will only grow larger as students begin yet another school year with remote learning.

Laura Feuling is terrified knowing her six-year-old daughter Kadence is about to begin another year of remote learning.

“We’re trying to explain to her that school as you know it isn’t happening anymore,” she said. “I’m more stressed out with the situation with schooling than the virus at this point. It keeps me up at night.”

Kadence has several learning disabilities including dyslexia and apraxia.

“Before COVID she was behind and she struggled,” Feurling said.

Laura Feuling isn’t the one who fears a widening education gap.

Kevin Welner is with the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado. He worries that gaps along racial and socioeconomic lines will grow even more profound this fall.

“It’s probably becoming more severe, more extreme. All evidence we have suggests the children who are doing the best right now are those who have the most resources in their families,” Welner said.

Welner also worries about students with special needs or learning disabilities including students like Kadence Feuling.

“The skills that are needed to teach my daughter I don’t have, and I don’t know anyone else who has that,” Feuling said.

Kadence will begin the year with remote learning, but even when things finally return to some resemblance of normal, Laura worries the damage has already been done.

“If my child is behind she’s just going to fall behind every year even more following this. It’s going to take years to fix the problems that have happened in the schools now,” Feuling said.

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