How summer programs targeted learning loss in grades K-12
Among the many lifestyle changes forced upon people of all ages by the COVID-19 pandemic, the delay in learning in school-age children stands out as particularly concerning.
Many high school and college students went into the pandemic with some experience in virtual communication and even, to some extent, online learning. However, kindergarten and elementary school students have traditionally relied on daily attendance and classroom teaching methods to develop social and academic skills. Due to the disruption of the pandemic, many lost out on invaluable lessons they would have learned in classrooms.
Long periods away from school, such as vacations or imposed extended absences due to health problems or family issues, have always been grounds for unease among teachers and parents. "Summer slide" is the colloquial term used to describe learning loss or setbacks in the academic process that may become evident during the first weeks of each school period after three months of summer vacation. In most instances, such stalls are surmountable. But the 2020 quarantine deepened the problem for some students, demanding immediate solutions with long-term effects.
Educators and parents managed to deflect much of the learning loss derived from the health crisis through intensive versions of academic recovery plans available for decades: private tutoring, summer school, learning camps, and more. In certain cases, multiple personalized programs were simultaneously implemented to help children at higher risk of drastically falling back.
Three years after the pandemic forced kids into a lengthy mandatory break, most everyday activities are back to where they were before the first half of 2020—and parents and educators are looking for ways to make up for the lost time. About 12.6% of Census Household Pulse survey respondents said school-age children attended at least one summer learning activity program in 2022—roughly half of those enrolled in 2021.
HeyTutor cited data from the Census Household Pulse survey and looked at news reports to break down different summer programs targeting learning loss.
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