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How Green Country educators are responding to the summer "COVID slide"

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 10:29:57-04

TULSA, Okla. — Each fall teachers gear up to face what is known as the “summer slide” when the school year begins-- that's a learning gap that impacts students due to summer break.

In 2020, educators are also facing what is being called the “COVID-19 slide” -- an expected learning loss for students since in person classes shut down in the spring during the pandemic.

Danielle Neves, the Tulsa Public School Deputy Chief of Academics said the school district is anticipating “unfinished learning” which is curriculum students haven’t been taught.

“Some students will be at the same level, some will have progress, but a good number of students have lost progress. We are concerned about the areas of math and reading, with more of a dramatic loss of learning with math,” Neves said.

TPS is designing an education plan anticipating the “COVID-19 slide” for the upcoming school year, according to Neves. “This is an intentional plan that will embed the skills and content missed in the Spring into the upcoming school year.”

With changes during the pandemic many teachers had little time to prepare for distance learning. TPS used the time since the school year ended to develop a plan. A seven day training is being implemented for teachers, with a focus on engaging with students online.

Parents and guardians are also being given tools for teaching kids at home. TPS will be providing video tutorials and parents will have access to their children’s progress and the curriculum online.

Jenny Ness-Hunkin is with Tutor Doctor in Tulsa. Tutor Doctor offers virtual and in-home tutoring. The company can be hired to help Green Country students overcome learning loss, especially during the pandemic.

According to Ness-Hunkin, parents and students can do some things during the summer to keep their minds active:

  • Start a family book club: Find a book the whole family can read and make a weekly goal of sitting down together to discuss the characters, plot and inferences of how the story will progress. Once the book is finished, another family member can pick the next one, with the goal of reading a book of each family member’s choice.
  • Keep up with current events: Help kids learn the importance of staying in the know on what’s happening in the world. Ask them to find a magazine or newspaper article that interests them each week. Then, have them summarize and explain what they learned in their own words.
  • Create a forest preserve scavenger hunt: To keep walks and new forest preserves interesting, have kids research common plants and animals in your area to try and find on an adventure. Every time they find one, they can take a photo to log it or simply check it off on the list. This will keep them active and engaged at new places while enjoying the outdoors.
  • Get creative in the kitchen: Have kids experiment with their own recipes. Learning their way around the kitchen is a great way to help them learn skills like following instructions to get the proper end result, multi-tasking, math skills and helps to foster a growth mindset by trial and error.
  • Give gardening a go: Encourage children to do some digging and plant a rainbow of flowers, plants or yummy fruits and veggies. Gardening is a great way to teach children good things come to those who wait. Kids can also learn a range of skills from gardening like responsibility, love of nature and self-confidence. Not to mention cooperation, nutrition, creativity and physical activity.

Ness-Hunkin believes families can continue to enjoy the summer vacation and still empower students to overcome the “COVID-19 slide” in the upcoming school year.

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