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How Schools Need to Adjust to Meet Students’ Needs

With the pandemic disrupting yet another academic year, schools need to anticipate challenges and find new ways to keep students up to speed.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 7:07AM 04/11/22

Now that we have kicked off the second half of the school year, it is time for educators to focus on necessary adjustments to help catch children up after more unexpected disruptions. For many students, the first half of the year was filled with the excitement of returning after a year filled with virtual learning, but as new variants of COVID-19 continue to threaten keeping students out of classrooms, schools must be ready to adapt to mitigate any further learning loss.

The key is to see the remainder of the school year as a fresh start. Schools should be honing in on what they learned during the height of the pandemic. What tactics will be kept in place? What worked? What didn’t? 

Particularly in districts that were fully or partially remote during 2021, there are many considerations that both schools and parents should be aware of. Most students who were remotely schooled in any capacity were tested at the end of 2020 or in the beginning of 2021’s school year. But those tests don’t always tell the whole story. There's substantial data proving that not only are kids behind academically, in many cases they've also lost progress in social and emotional skills. They simply don't have the ability to sit and listen the way they used to. Especially for younger students, parents and teachers have had to teach kids how to be a student all over again.

If a child is still not learning, grasping concepts or even adjusting socially, testing can be essential. Sometimes a simple seat change can limit distractions and help a child focus. Other times consistent one-on-one tutoring may be the answer. Testing is the best way to know. We are able to look at the children holistically and nationally to let parents know exactly whether their child is on track. And if they're not, we develop a plan that’s unique for that child. 

Not only are school systems figuring out how to approach the remainder of the academic year, they are also looking toward next fall and how to approach in-person versus online teaching in the long-term. Schools want to make sure their students are thriving as a whole — academically, socially and with a healthy routine – but it’s all about finding the best way to do that amid COVID-19. The concept of pandemic schooling isn’t new at this point; it’s just about finding ways to do it better. 

Each year and each semester will hold different challenges for schools, parents and children. The common thread is working together to help the students learn the best they can and catch any social or learning challenges as soon as possible. The name of the game is persistence and patience: persistence to keep challenging students, and patience to accommodate a new mode of learning that’s in a constant state of change.