What You Can Do About Covid-Related Academic Decline

| Posted in Academic Success

Is your child feeling lost in school?

Have they fallen behind?

Are they struggling to recall and apply skills they had previously understood?

Sadly, this is a common experience for school-age children today.

The Covid Learning Slide

Teachers are reporting that they are seeing a decline in student ability in their high school and college courses. It is so common, there is even a name for it – The Covid Learning Slide. Students have lost the capacity for completing skills they were previously capable of doing. It is as if the pandemic shake-up, with its related emotional and sometimes economic struggle, is siphoning off cognitive resources. It’s hard to learn when you’re not emotionally okay.

What you should expect from your child’s school

While schools have made remarkable efforts to re-open their doors and return to the normal routine of going to school, the fact is that many students are now behind grade level. Educators need to muster up all the patience and compassion possible so that we can get students through this turmoil. It’s not over yet. Even as the pandemic itself is on the decline in the U.S., we have suffered so much loss and so much change as a society and as individuals. It will take a lot of time to get our best selves back.  At least educators are “grown-ups” who have a sense of perspective and are better equipped to handle the emotional chaos. Schools need to remember that kids do not.

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Important questions to ask your child’s school

  1. How is your child’s school identifying missing learning standards and content?
  2. Has the school scheduled time for a foundational review of critical prior-year standards?
  3. What are the strategies for regaining lost knowledge that are prerequisites to future learning? If your child has not mastered the skills learned in Algebra 1, they will not be successful in Algebra 2.
  4. Is extra instructional time being offered to help students catch up?
  5. Is your school prioritizing the social and emotional aspect of returning to school?
  6. Is there support focused on building relationships and strategies for resilience and recovery?

Good Idea written on chalk boardWhat if your school is not meeting your child’s educational needs?

If your child has fallen behind in more than just a few high school courses or is just not receiving the individual attention they need to succeed, enrolling in a full-time, proven, accredited virtual school could be your best option.

Here is why:

Virtual learning is not new. There are hundreds of accredited public and private schools that specialize in virtual learning.

Public Virtual Charter Schools

As the name implies, these schools are public schools, which means they are tuition-free. There are six states that do not have charter school laws: Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont. However, if you live in any other state, chances are you will find several options. K12 is one option that offers grades K -12, making it an easy choice for families with children in elementary, middle and high schools. Another option is Connections Academy, which also serves students in grades K – 12. Most have open enrollment, and they are likely to have space available for full-time students. (Note -Virtual public charter schools may not offer individual courses or summer school. All students must be enrolled as full-time students.)

Private Virtual Schools

Private virtual schools, such as Whitmore School and Laurel Springs School, charge tuition. The tuition is typically between $1,600 to $15,000 per year. Many private virtual schools are grade-specific: grades K – 8, or grades 9 – 12. However, there are also many schools offering grades K – 12.

Most virtual schools have open enrollment and flexible schedules. This means that students are not required to log in at specified times to attend “live” lessons. These schools are a great choice if your child has other time commitments. The advantage is that school can be completed around a busy schedule, medical appointments, family travel, or work.

Most private virtual schools offer part-time enrollment for individual courses OR full-time enrollment.

Read more here about choosing the right virtual school: 9 TIPs If Your Virtual / Blended Learning Options Are Not Working For Your Child

Whitmore Schoolaccredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), offers four Diploma Programs for students wishing to enroll full-time to earn their high school diploma. Additionally, students looking to get back on track to graduate on time can enroll in individual courses. Students enroll and begin any time of year, work at their own pace, and may take up to 12 months to complete their courses.

Whitmore School’s self-paced, mastery educational approach is really the best possible way to regain the losses of learning that have happened over the past two years. There are no semesters or deadlines that put pressure on students to rush through coursework. Holding our standards high and patiently working one-to-one with each student on every lesson to get them to mastery, without any other concerns about where the ‘rest of the class’ is, is something we are uniquely positioned to do.

Jeannette - Educational DirectorWritten by Jeannette G., Educational Director

December 8, 2021 in ,

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