News from Mathnasium of Round Rock
How the Covid-19 Pandemic is impacting student learning
May 18, 2020
With so many day to day activities being impacted by the Coronavirus, it can be hard to pinpoint what all the long term consequences will be. With friends, family, and neighbors becoming ill and so many businesses closing their doors, no one has been able to say they are unaffected. One of the best things we can do is stay informed and stay prepared, so this post will be discussing the anticipated consequences for our children’s learning.
All subjects, but Mathematics in particular, depend on building upon previously learned material; it’s why Texas uses the STAAR exam to determine what students have learned that school year and whether they are ready to move on to the next grade level. Even under normal circumstances, there is a “summer slide” where students who do no school work during the summer months end up forgetting around 20% of reading skills and 27% of math skills learned in the previous year (Thum & Hauser, 2016). As it stands in the current situation, the Texas Education Agency is estimating that some students could be behind an entire year due to the lack of in-person education in addition to the normal 3-month summer break (Texas Education Agency, 2020). For some students, it is simply difficult to work from home. It can be a distracting environment, or the lack of face-to-face instruction can make it difficult to focus. Some students feel like the work assigned for them to do at home was too easy. With others, too difficult. For most, the work only covered two or three topics instead of the six or seven that would have normally been covered. No matter the reason, the TEA does expect the “summer slide” to be much worse than before.
Teachers have truly gone above and beyond during this time. They have created online lesson plans, taught from home, and some have sent home packets for students to work on. Parents have also stepped into the role of educators, helping students with classwork while also trying to work from home or adapt to new circumstances. Despite all these efforts, it is undeniable that some students will unfortunately get left behind. Our job is to help them get to where they need to be.
At Mathnasium, we are doing everything we can to help your children come out on top of this. We’ve switched to online learning, so that students can receive live person-to-person instruction without ever leaving home. We have expanded the flexibility of classes, allowing students to work on copyrighted material when not at the center. We are continuing assessments to find out where your children are at and what they need help with, and then use the results to build a customized Learning Plan. We use this to assign topics and ensure they have the necessary skills to move on the next grade level.
It can be difficult to stay positive and look towards the future. But if we do not plan for the future, we can end up being left behind. Please stay safe, practice social distancing, and stay at home whenever possible. Thank you to all the people who are keeping this country going, including our instructors!
Texas Education Agency. (2020). Summary Debrief of TEA Covid-19 Superindtendents Calls. Retrieved from tea.texas.gov
Thum, Y. M., & Hauser, C. H. (2016). NWEA 2015 MAP Norms for Student and School Achievement Status and Growth. Portland, OR: NWEA.
Our Center is open with limited capacity ,in compliance with CDC & State guidelines. We are encouraging the online learning platform. It is a permanent part of our program.
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