Covid-19 and academic loss

Sep 17, 2022 | Red Deer

Covid-19 damaging impact on academic achievement

The impact of the pandemic on our students’ academic performance is quite severe; the math achievement drops significantly larger than impacts from large-scale school disruptions such as after Hurricane Katrina (The pandemic has had devastating impacts on learning).

This study from Brown University found that U.S. students’ math achievement dropped across the first two years of the pandemic while reading achievement just primarily between fall 2020 and fall 2021.

It happens everywhere around the world as featured in McLean’s: The lost year in education, including of course Canada. 


Alberta parents concerned about learning gaps

Well .. actually you don’t need a survey to know that the majority of parents are concerned about their children’s learning gaps and well being due to Covid 19. But this survey from Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) validates what all of us feel about this. Parents of K-12 students say their kids are still missing academic skills, knowledge, mental health and social support after the pandemic. 



As a math learning centre, we hear this concern too often from parents who come to us. Also it’s common to hear students saying they’ve never learned a particular concept that according to the Alberta curriculum, they should have received it in their previous grade. Parents who educate themselves by verifying what their kids learn against what they should learn also say the same thing. Is it possible that the kids just simply forget or miss it? Of course. During the pandemic, there’s so many factors that caused learning gaps such as high rates of absenteeism and quarantines, school closures, school staff shortages, lack of engagement in virtual learning settings, etc. But for sure learning gaps are there and will stay there and even get worse if they do not receive support. 

When asked what types of supports that would be the most helpful in getting students back on track, here are what they chose:

ASCA will provide recommendations to Alberta Education this fall, but Alberta Education said they are already asking school authorities to administer literacy and numeracy screening starting this fall. The Alberta government also has an action plan to provide funding to address mental health, specialized assessments and learning loss supports. The province also provided funding to help school boards hire teaching specialists to work closely with young students who suffered learning gaps during the pandemic. But school boards said they received it quite late (March 2022) so that students lost out on weeks of critical intervention support.


The role of families

We have talked about what the government and schools can do to address the learning gaps. What about the role of families? Parents and family members are the ones who can individually support and involve in our children's educational achievement; this becomes especially critical if they are suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

We should not just wait and expect the help from government and schools as time is of the essence, especially in math because math is built upon itself. Your child deserves the best when it comes to education – and that includes supplemental education. A premium math learning centre – that can pinpoint exactly what their gaps are, build a personalized learning plan and have a proven teaching method – can address all the types of support expected by parents in the survey to get your child on track. 

Like what one of our students replied with a big smile when asked how’s math at school: “It’s easier to understand now.” She had successfully closed her math gaps; she was in grade 8 and assessed as grade 6 back in October 2021, then moved up to grade 7 in March, then just recently moved up again to grade 8. Finally she’s right on track, thanks to parents’ support!! ðŸ˜Š

Does your child need extra support in math? Mathnasium of Red Deer is your neighbourhood’s math-only learning centre, and we are here to unlock your child’s potential and set them on a path to lifetime success. Our centre director, Riwan, and the whole team, would be happy to meet you! We are conveniently located in the shopping destination area in Red Deer: 5250 22nd St, Unit 30 B – at the Gaetz Avenue Crossing shopping centre, in the same area as Chapters Indigo/Starbucks, Michael Arts, Petland and Ashley, and the phone number is 403-872 MATH (6284). 

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