We begin with new data showing just how much the pandemic has impacted education.
Test scores Nationally showing sharp declines in Reading and Math.
As McKenzie Jarrell reports it’s known as the pandemic learning loss.
“Prior to the pandemic we always did our best to accommodate the needs of every individual student, but now the pandemic has definitely taken a toll on education. And I think the effects of it are still lingering and now its how are
we going to step up to the plate to bridge these gaps.”
Michelle Larose, the Conemaugh Valley Elementary School Principal. She tells me she has witness a decline in grades since the pandemic begun.
“When the pandemic hit there definitely was some learning loss. For some students it was much more severe and for other students there was minimal loss.”
For example, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, scores for 8th graders in 2021 showed more than 53 percent, that’s more than half, are performing below basic levels.
In years prior to the pandemic, the data shows the number of 8th graders performing below basic levels hovering at about 40-percent.
“The data that we received this year defiantly reflects the learning loss that happened during the pandemic.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education tracks data on how a student performs while taking standardized test such as the PSSA. In 2020 there was no PSSA due to the pandemic.
“The PSSA picked up right where it left off at. We missed a year because of Covid and then last year we picked right up where we left off at and the testing ruled out. And yes, the scores were a little bit different, but were very hopeful as we look towards the future.”
Larose tells me Conemaugh Valley has taken a new approach to help assist students make up for their time away from the classroom with a new multi tiered system of support.
“In addition to still having their core Math and Reading. Now the district is offering the students an additional 45 minutes to help bridge these gaps and to help at their level and where they’ve had loss or where they have grown academically.”