As the world begins to reopen, there are a lot of things to take stock of. As administrators, we know that following state guidelines when planning for in-person instruction is important, as well as following other protocols related to reopening. But one of the most important things for parents and educators to consider is of course, ensuring that students are on track with their learning and progress. While keeping students happy and healthy is the top priority, it’s also crucial to evaluate where the student is with their learning progress after a tumultuous year.
We all know that trauma can affect a child’s learning, and as a society, we have all gone through a collective traumatic experience together. At JASON.org, we have tools that can not only help fight learning loss, but can also help students accelerate their progress and get them even more prepared for the next school year.
Many states have begun or passed legislation and funding to combat learning loss due to the pandemic. We believe that this is an important first step to making sure that our students are on track for success. The next step is applying that grant for the good of all students. As we approach summer, we face an additional challenge, because as we know, according to Brookings.edu, the traditional “summer slide” of learning loss averages about one month of in-school time. This, combined with the events of the last year and a half, are a recipe for setbacks as we begin the 2021-2022 school year.
So what can we do?
As adults, we have performance evaluations, and salaries, and different ways to gauge our progress. For kids, their paycheck is their report card. It can sometimes be difficult for parents to track progress in between reports, and in the summer when children’s minds are focused on play, it can be even more difficult to get an accurate reading. We believe that learning shouldn’t stop when the dismissal bell sounds on the last day of school. And to be fair, kids deserve to be kids and have fun. In addition to a summer reading list, children should be encouraged to learn through their play, and in hands-on activities that apply principles of STEM and other topics they may be interested in.
At JASON.org, our programs currently offer access to over 5 million children. We have thousands of STEM activities for grade levels K-12, and make learning fun, appropriate, and applicable to the real world. As an organization, we work with districts to ensure that they can provide engaging and exciting activities for their students within the STEM education space.
Districts are also able to purchase a JASON.org membership that covers their students for a very low rate per head, that can also be shared with local parishes, Boys and Girls Clubs, and parts of the community where learning loss may become rampant over the summer. We are honored to partner with these organizations and ensure that we are preparing a new generation of eager learners who are engaged in their communities.