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Perspectives on education – Learning is incomplete, not lost – The Ukiah Daily Journal

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Michelle Hutchins County Superintendent of Education

As COVID-19 variants continue to spread, students and teachers are finding that campus life feels the same as it did before the pandemic. California lifted mask mandates last spring, leaving face coverings voluntary. Classroom disinfection stations and some plexiglass barriers are one of the few physical reminders that COVID-19 is still a threat. Across Mendocino County, schools are providing students and staff with her COVID-19 test kits to take home upon request.

Schools are currently facing the problem of how to help students keep up with their learning. Research shows that more students than ever have unfinished learning in the past two years. As the pandemic subsides, schools face important choices about how to respond. Should I use the traditional approach of reviewing all content my students missed, i.e. remediation, or should I start with the current grade content and provide just-in-time support as needed? ? This is known as accelerated learning.?

New data from Zearn, a nonprofit organization where one in four elementary school students nationwide uses an online math platform, provides one of the first direct comparisons of these two approaches, showing how schools can help accelerate learning. It provides compelling new evidence that transformation needs to be the foundation of our approach.

Here are the findings:

Students who experienced accelerated learning struggled less and learned more than those who started at the same level but experienced improvement instead.

Students of color and low-income groups were more likely to experience improvement than their wealthy white peers, even if they were already successful with grade-level content.

Facilitating learning was particularly effective for students of color, students from low-income families, and students learning English.

This is strong evidence that accelerated learning works and could be the key to addressing generations of academic inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m here. In the coming months, school leaders will provide teachers with the resources and support they need to begin building the necessary skills and beliefs to get all students ready for grade-level work. You have an important opportunity.

What can parents do to find out how your school is addressing learning disabilities? Find resources at Accelerate, Don’t Remediate at

What else can be done to support students returning to school? Children often complain about going back to school as the summer ends. They lament the loss of leisure time and worry about the beginning of new challenges and responsibilities. New teachers, classrooms, and schedules, along with tougher curricula and higher expectations for academic performance, create anxiety. What is the usual anxiety going into a new school year and when does it become excessive?

According to the American Anxiety Disorders Association, 1 in 8 children suffer from an anxiety disorder. That is, a teacher with a 25-class classroom can expect from her two to three children with high anxiety levels. Anxiety is considered excessive if it interferes with a child’s well-being and ability to learn. High levels of anxiety are often seen in child behavior such as tantrums. Excessive anxiety can lead to school truancy. It can also manifest as physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, and abdominal pain. A UCLA School Mental Health Center publication states:

To support students returning to school, it helps to understand what anxiety is and how to reduce it. Anxiety can manifest itself as uncertainty or fear that the worst is about to happen. Students may worry that the next grade level is beyond their capabilities. By asking exactly what their children are worried about, parents can provide information and reassurance. For example, parents can explain what is expected of their child’s level of education and show that their child is indeed ready to take on this new challenge.

One of the best ways to support children is for families and teachers to work together. Open communication makes everyone aware of current challenges and provides opportunities for collaboration.