ATLANTA (CBS46) – With most metro Atlanta school districts starting the new school year next week, a major priority will be catching up students on what they missed as they resorted to ‘virtual learning’ during the pandemic.

One local summer program is already tackling learning loss.

Every summer at Horizons Atlanta’s 10 locations, the focus is addressing the “summer slide” for students from low-income families so they don’t lose what they’ve learned during the past school year. This year, program leaders are addressing the “pandemic slide.”

“Some of them actually had not been in a classroom since March of 2020,” said Alex Wan, executive director of Horizons Atlanta.

Besides the usual swim classes and hands-on activities this summer, teachers also are addressing specific areas where some students have a lot of catching up to do.

“Some of the things we’ve noticed that students are struggling with as a result of being virtual for so long are hand-writing skills because they were using a computer instead of having to turn in work,” said Kristin Jackson, site director for Horizons Atlanta at Woodward Academy. “We’ve also seen some social skills that are lacking.”

Jackson and Wan said when school starts, school districts will no doubt encounter the same challenges but on a larger scale, which is why they have some advice for school leaders.

“Plan for your strategy on learning loss,” said Wan. “Plan for your student re-entry into a classroom setting with other peers, especially those that have not been face-to-face.”

Wan added that it’s important to help students get back on track not just with academics, but socially and emotionally, too.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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