Typically, over the summer break, student achievement scores decline by one month compared to the previous school year. However, the projections for this year are even more disheartening. Student learning loss from last school year’s distance learning experience is estimated to be significantly more profound than what is usually lost.
As the pandemic continues and many schools are starting the 2020/2021 school year virtually, schools need to quickly find ways to prevent additional learning loss and recover the lost learning that has already occurred. The alternative could be detrimental. One study found that four years after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, children who missed three months of school were still 1.5 years behind expectations. The most likely explanation is that students lost ground and did not receive an adequate intervention, which caused them to continue falling behind after returning.
After Hurricane Katrina, the average student returned to school more than two years below grade level. And fifteen years later, New Orleans schools continued to suffer from the effects of lost learning. One school leader stated, “A big trauma like Katrina can have effects for decades.”
Steps for Recovering Lost Learning
It’s too soon to determine the actual effects of COVID-19; however, it’s clear that lost learning is a valid concern that will likely affect thousands of students nationwide. The long-term effects could be devastating. Schools should take proactive steps now to recover and prevent additional lost learning.
Standards Plus, a nonprofit group of educators, has what schools need to help alleviate the well-documented effects of lost learning that resulted from these other disasters. Standards Plus provides an evidence-based program, a research-based structure, and teacher training to facilitate the successful recovery of lost learning, whether through live distance learning or regular classroom instruction.
Schools should take action now to give students time to master all grade-level standards during this school year. Recovered Lost Learning Grants up to $3,500 are available to schools to help cover the cost of Standards Plus materials. Click here to learn more.