Combating Student Learning Loss through Communication
by Brianna Richard, on Feb 23, 2021 9:00:00 AM
The COVID-19 pandemic has made unprecedented shifts in education, forcing an unimaginable number of students out of school buildings and into distance learning. As the virus continues to affect different areas of the country, our teachers and students are all facing different challenges with some buildings opening and others continuing to remain closed.
One of the biggest concerns is student learning loss. So many students K-12 have been lacking hands-on experiences and physically learning in the classroom for almost a year now. While teachers have done their best to transition to distance learning virtually overnight, it is unknown how much learning students potentially missed out on.
Luckily, there is something that can be done. Research tells us that one of the greatest indicators of student success is parent involvement. In fact, a partnership between school and home is one of the most accurate predictors of student achievement. So how can we make this happen? It is as simple as communication. Communication between parents and teachers is often overthought. Teachers do not need to write daily formal newsletters to families and parents should always feel comfortable asking the most simple, clarifying questions to schools.
For teachers, sending out regular updates that simply contain what is currently being taught in class is incredibly powerful. It can be as straight-forward as a bullet-point list and will be so appreciated by families. Many parents can relate to the age-old scenario of asking their child what they learned in school to simply be told, “nothing.” If parents are aware of what is currently being taught, they can support student learning and expand upon it. This will solidify what is being done in class whether online or in person.
Communication between entire school communities is also a valuable asset to success. Parents talking to parents, teachers learning from other teachers, schools and families working together. This is what will combat the learning loss and help our students to have a successful year, regardless of where they are learning. So let’s get talking!
- National PTA. 2000. Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide for Developing Parent and Family Involvement Programs. Bloomington, Indiana: National Education Service, 11–12.
- Henderson, A.T., and Nancy Berla. 1995. A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Education, 14–16.
- Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash