The global pandemic has caused numerous problems that will have a lasting effect. One of the most significant is the impact on the achievement and success of the current generation of school students - especially those in the most critical stages of intellectual growth. Numerous studies conducted during extended school closures over the years have consistently shown negative, long-term impacts on students in elementary school during the time of the closure. Students have not been allowed into schools since March 13, and we are now attempting to recreate school through a distance learning approach. Although we are working diligently to keep the students engaged, and progressing, there is no doubt that a gap is being created between where many of our students are and where they would be, had this pandemic never occurred. A loss of even 10 days of instruction has shown to result in as much as a 3% decrease in student achievement on standardized tests in reading, and as much as a 7% drop in Math scores. Other studies indicated that student cohorts exposed to long-term shutdowns experienced a 5% decrease in college admissions and significantly higher rates of unemployment as adults. Our fear as educators is that the current situation will result in similar deficits among our current students.
We are very pleased to announce that with the support of the United Way of Indiana County, the Indiana Area School District will be providing a “Summer Catch-Up Camp”. The camp will run from June 15th – July 24th, 2020. The camp’s goal is to provide additional instruction and support for our students in grades K-3 to compensate for the time lost during the shutdown and help put them back on a path to success.
Teachers will provide consistent, fun and engaging activities aimed at improving the specific needs of each individual student. The design will include a live daily connection (virtual - until we are able to open) between the instructor and the student through our Google Suite for Education, and materials to assist parents and students with the reinforcement activities to work through if they choose. This brief (approximately one to two hours) time spent daily, working with teachers on critical developmental skills will provide significant growth toward the grade-level standards, and will ensure a strong foundation of skills on which the student can build as they learn and grow.
This partnership will result in 6 weeks of additional instruction and support to compensate for the time lost during the shutdown for our students in grades K-3 who are most at risk. The plan is to run the program from June 15 - July 24, 2020. The barriers of social distancing will still be present, and we acknowledge that this solution will be less successful than a live, in-person program would be, but with our teachers and students becoming more proficient with live, online platforms with each passing day, the program will absolutely have a positive impact on the students progress.
The IASD Catch-up Camp will include a live daily connection between the instructor and the student through our Google Suite for Education, and materials to assist parents and students with the reinforcement activities.
The daily lesson routine will include:
- A review of the extension/reinforcement activity
- The introduction of new learning content
- Guided practice led by the instructor
- A fun “brain-break”
- Independent practice (modeling and assignment of the daily extension/reinforcement activity)
This model is designed to ensure continuity and tp maximize impact, which will be amplified by the data-informed focus on individual student needs. The lessons will be fun and engaging, designed to be brief, but powerful to avoid the students burning out. Most importantly, this design will be aimed at engaging the families in the learning process, which has been proven by research to be one of the most powerful tools for student success. Students will get help in Literacy, Math, or both through evidence-based programming and best practices in education.
Because of the foresight of the United Way of Indiana County, and their investment in our community’s future, we are confident that we can limit the negative effects on the academic growth of hundreds of students in our community, providing them a head start on the road to recovering from this global crisis. This partnership between the United Way of Indiana County and the IASD will be a constructive step towards positive growth and development, providing our students hope and opportunity as they move forward. We are grateful to have the generous support of the United Way and the unyielding support of the IASD Board of Directors to provide this opportunity, We are proud to have the opportunity to serve local families and help our children grow and thrive!
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Robert Heinrich - IASD Director of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-463-8713.