Learning Loss Defined
The term learning loss refers to any specific or general loss of knowledge and skills or to reversals in academic progress, most commonly due to extended gaps or discontinuities in a student’s education. While learning loss can manifest in a wide variety of ways for a variety of reasons, the following are a few representative examples of widely recognized forms of learning loss:
Perhaps the most commonly cited form is summer learning loss, which occurs when students take extended breaks in their education during the summer. Since most public schools typically take summer breaks that can last up to two or two-and-a-half months, summer learning loss is a fairly universal and well-documented issue in the United States.
Interrupted Formal Education
Students may experience significant interruptions in their formal education for a wide variety of reasons. Well, we have current example of that: COVID-19. In March 2020, classroom began to close and alternative learning started booming. Immigrated refugee students also commonly face an interruption of their formal education. Some young refugees have not attended school for extended periods of time. In fact, in some cases these students may never have attended a formal school or may not have attended school for several years.
A long health-related absence would be another potential source of learning loss, as would any family decision to remove students from school or stop their formal education. Another common form of absence is the school suspension or expulsion, which can lead to either minor or significant learning loss.
What Does This Mean For My Child?
Nothing beats being in a classroom.
After a year of schools being physically closed and distance learning taking rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50% of both United States’ private and public schools said the pandemic resulted in a significant distance learning challenges.
The Center for Disease Control suggested that distance (virtual) learning might present more risk than in-person instruction. Of course, each student is different and will be affected differently. Child and parent emotional, mental, and physical health are highly supportive or otherwise.
Overcoming Learning Loss
Extended School Year: Schools like MileStone Academy are offering an extended school year or what we like to call E.S.Y.
E.S.Y. summer programs like MileStone’s 444 Program are an option for remedy. In other states, like North Dakota, educators are considering extending the length of the school year to help catch students up to where they should be academically.
Partnerships with community organizations: MileStone believes communities should work support teachers through partnerships with educational and extra curriculum programs like our Career Conversations. These programs are needed now more than ever.
Tutoring: Research shows “high dosage” tutoring can help boost reading skills, especially in the early years of elementary schools. Team Tutor in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania partners with schools. They supply a variety of tutoring services for students at the school or location of choice. All programs are designed to meet the individual needs of the student.