“COVID-Slide” What is it? And How Can You Tackle It?

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“COVID-Slide” What is it? And How Can You Tackle It?

With COVID-19 closing schools early it’s put teachers, families, and nearly 55.1 million students in a difficult position during these unprecedented times. It’s difficult to evaluate how missing months of school will affect student achievement, however research on summer learning loss offers some insight on the impact COVID-19 may have. While there is some mixed feelings on the gravity of “summer-slide”, three trends are consistent: achievement usually slows over the summer months, declines tend to be steeper for math than reading, and the loss increases in the upper grades.

The school closures caused by the pandemic have additional aspects of trauma for students. Many have experienced a loss of resources and loss of opportunity to learn. Most likely children that come from financially well-off families with a flexible work from home schedule will have the easiest time come the new school year. Nevertheless, missing school for a prolonged period of time will likely have a major impact on the general student achievement come Fall 2020. Once schools are back in session, we must be prepared to support students. Here are a few ways to do that.


  1. It’s going to take more than one school year to fix ‘COVID Slide’. Find programs or learning apps that students can use during their summer months to keep up on what they learned during the school year.

  2. Don’t wait. Start your planning process earlier than you usually would.

  3. In the beginning of the school year, assess your students. It shouldn’t be graded, it should be a way to figure out where your students may need a catch up.

  4. Adjust your curricular plans according to the data you receive from the assessment.

  5. Engage with families on a deeper level. Make sure you’re communicating regularly with all parents, but especially those from the most vulnerable populations (such as low-income and non-English-speaking families) Offer support and advice too help parents reinforce their children’s education. This is going to have to be a team effort.

  6. Be flexible. This is going to be a stressful time for teachers and students. Take a deep breath and adjust to the needs of students. Be ready to take extra time to be one on one with students who are struggling.


For teachers who may be using Google Classrooms for the 2020 school year:  Getting Googled – Your Students Will Never Lose Their Homework Again

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