The COVID Learning Loss and Catching Up

“COVID Learning Loss”

“Pandemic Delay”

“Student Learning Gaps”

I see and hear these catch phrases all the time. Just Google ‘COVID Learning Loss’ and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s a sampling of some articles that point out how learning has been affected during the pandemic:

Pandemic learning loss is real and kids need help to catch up, education experts say

Learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic has had devastating impacts on learning. What will it take to help students catch up?

As Superintendent, I hear about the COVID effects:

“How are you going to have students catch-up?

Many students are further behind now than they would have been if the pandemic never happened.

“What will you prioritize to make up the difference?”

“How will you accelerate learning so that they are up-to-date?”

I understand the concern being expressed. I do.

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Reflections from 2021-2022 – HOPE Paves the Path to Success

As we enter the month of June we also enter the end of another school year — a year that for me was a bit of a paradox. I am feeling both exhausted but also inspired by where we’ve come and where we are heading.

As I thought about what I should include in my year-end post, I wanted to focus on big things — those things that made a positive difference.

By focusing on the events that show a way forward, we see the HOPE that is needed to climb the mountains in front of us. And we climbed quite a few mountains this past year. We should be proud of the extraordinary work that has happened and also excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

I’m going to talk about a few of them. So, let’s get started …

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Resilience – Digging Deeper Than We Thought We Could

Human beings possess what some researchers call a psychological immune system, a host of cognitive abilities that enable us to make the best of even the worst situation.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

We are capable of more than what we probably think we are capable of sustaining. Researchers Aknin, Zaki and Dunn conducted a review of close to 1,000 research studies examining hundreds of thousands of people across nearly 100 countries and they came to a conclusion:

We are remarkably adept at finding solutions to what might appear to be insurmountable problems.

THE MENTAL HEALTH CHECK

You’ve probably heard that the coronavirus pandemic triggered a worldwide mental-health crisis. This narrative took hold almost as quickly as the virus itself. In the spring of 2020, article after article—even an op-ed by one of us—warned of a looming psychological epidemic.

As clinical scientists and research psychologists have pointed out, the coronavirus pandemic has created many conditions that might lead to psychological distress: sudden, widespread disruptions to people’s livelihoods and social connections; millions bereaved; and the most vulnerable subjected to long-lasting hardship. A global collapse in well-being has seemed inevitable.

Lara Aknin, Jamil Zaki and Elizabeth Dunn, The Atlantic (July 2021)

Alarm bells were ringing.

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