Ahhh, spring! The snow has melted, birds are singing and flowers are blooming.
But this time of year can be stressful for students and their parents. Many parents are reporting that they detect a learning loss or that they have concerns about next year. Their young person is performing as expected in most classes. But, struggles to make the grades they had previously in others. Current research and Covid-19 impact aside indicate that national summer learning losses of up to fifty percent of that which was learned the previous year. (Kuhfeld et al., 2020a) This means that every student experiences a loss of content. They may be losing the learning they had at a rate of about 5% for each week that they are away from school.
You may be considering adding a little academics to the summer academics. [button]
Then, as parents, we think, “They could use the time off and summer is a time for kids to get a break from school”. We agree. But, before you dismiss the idea of a study plan this summer, consider what the educational psychology journal, Frontiers in Education, recently published a review entitled, “Effects of COVID-19-Related School Closures on Student Achievement-A Systematic Review”. In this review, the authors state: “Existing projections of the impact of COVID-19 on student achievement paint quite a bleak picture. A learning loss of up to 38 points on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA1) scale is estimated, which corresponds to an effect size (Cohen’s d) of 0.38 or 0.9 school years” (Azevedo et al., 2020; Kuhfeld et al., 2020a; Wyse et al., 2020; Kaffenberger, 2021). That means that our kids have already lost up to nearly a year of academic content as a result of the pandemic. They are now heading into a ten-week summer break. We can not allow this learning loss to continue, not for our young people and our future leaders.
Combating Summer & Pandemic Learning and Losses
This information is not a secret. We have seen innovative program coordinators and individual teachers directly address this problem by offering summer learning programs. However, as the Brookings Institute reported last March, “school districts have struggled to find staff interested in teaching summer school to meet the increased demand”. The US Department of Education released a recent report entitled Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students. This report emphasizes in its first observation that, “Emerging evidence shows that the pandemic has negatively affected academic growth, widening pre-existing disparities. In core subjects like math and reading, there are worrisome signs that in some grades students might be falling even further behind pre-pandemic expectations”.
Studies indicate that U.S. students are behind in core curricular areas
Multiple studies corroborate that students at a national level are behind in the areas of mathematics, reading, and science. Your young person may be earning good grades. However, those grades are relevant to the content that the teachers felt was appropriate to teach based on the needs of the class. The USDoE report states, that “in nearly a fifth of districts surveyed (17%), the instruction students did receive in spring 2020 was designed not to teach new skills and understanding, but to review what had already been taught—in a sort of pandemic holding pattern”. This information might be overwhelming and many parents see these impacts in their own homes.
No need to panic. We simply need a plan. And can do that together. [button]
Just2 Tutoring has been an effective deterrent to summer learning loss for over twenty years. We specialize in interest-based learning, remediation, credit recovery, content acceleration, success habits, and executive functions all scaffolded and structured by accountability coaching.
You might be thinking, I’ll just pick up a workbook and assign pages throughout the summer and that might work out just fine. However, our experience is that these plans dissolve into a good intention very quickly. Working with a qualified Just2 academic focus coach provides consistency and reliability that may be difficult to create otherwise. Students schedule ten or more summer sessions at agreeable times and within portions of the summer that best suits their family. Brookings says on the topic of tutoring that it “often works best in younger grades, and when provided by a teacher rather than, say, a parent. Further, some of the tutoring programs that produce the biggest effects can be quite intensive (and likely expensive), including having full-time tutors supporting all students (not just those needing remediation) in one-on-one settings”.
So, let’s plan to have some fun this summer, let the teens sleep late, go to the pool, AND call today to find out more about how Just2 can support your young person in avoiding summer learning loss, get off the screen, build routines work as a team to create assurance that they will have a relaxing, productive Summer and be prepared for the fall semester!