The “Covid Slide” - Is it Really THAT Bad?
Classrooms over the past six months have transformed, in large part, from frenetic places where students share ideas, lead discussions at the board, and vigorously take notes to ... well, computer screens with dozens of faces crammed into tiny windows. Surely this transformation -- for those fortunate enough to even have a computer and stable access to the internet -- can’t measure up to what once was, right?
The short of it is of course not. But, what options do people really have? It’s either risk exposure to covid and get some semblance of a normal school day or stay at home and learn from a fragmented collection of windows, powerpoints, and research projects. Neither is very appealing, but the reality is that staying at home -- until further notice! -- is just what the doctor has ordered for many students.
The "Covid Slide" - Prognosis
Now the question is, how bad is the covid slide going to be?
Pretty bad, no doubt. That is, if you look at education across the board, over multiple grades, subjects, income levels, and other demographics. Studies do little to suggest that a year and a half of somewhat functional school isn’t really going to be so bad.
The Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) report from yesterday stated that nearly 500 million schoolchildren simply are not learning at all.
A NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) report from April has found that the covid slide is considerably worse than the traditional summer slide, especially for mathematics -- and especially for elementary students, who are usually less tech savvy than their middle school and high school peers.
And the RAND Corporation published findings that showed disruptions in regular school can have long-lasting consequences, citing children who lost class time during World War II as examples. Income disparities could be traced decades later.
The "Covid Slide" - Treatment
You can take any of these data points, research findings, or projections and surmise that this school year (and the remote part of last school year) will have lasting consequences, especially for younger students, but there is a bright spot -- or, at least, there is hope for mitigating the covid slide.
Individual. Group sessions. Anything, really. As long as students are getting more individualized attention to round out the rough edges of remote learning, they will be in a pretty good position when school starts leveling out and returning to the “new normal.”
It may not be the perfect solution. It may not be the exact same as twenty-five cheery faces all interacting in the one-of-a-kind magic of physical classrooms, but tutoring, group tutoring, and even micro classes can offer a lot of benefits to students.
It's a "treatment" worth giving a try.
Looking for reliable tutors to help your student through the upcoming school year? Check out our Fall Session tutoring options and small classes, especially for school subjects, in which our teachers can reinforce core academic concepts and also instruct on supplemental ones. Let us help you reduce the effects of the covid slide!