For North Carolina public school students, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education to the extent that most students experienced less academic growth than during a typical pre-pandemic school year. Although schools were operational throughout the 2020-2021 school year, student growth was negatively impacted by the disruptions to learning compared to a “regular” school year. In some cases, given the severity and diversity of pandemic-induced challenges, students may now need interventions that accelerate learning experiences beyond the typical instructional time during an academic school year.
For the purpose of making the impacts of the pandemic on students understandable to a variety of stakeholders, the Office of Learning Recovery (OLR) converted the statistical effect sizes presented in the Lost Instructional Time report into estimates of additional instructional time needed to get students back on track. We converted the average statewide individual student growth from the 2020-21 school year into estimates of time based on national research calculations of average student growth by grade and subject. This can help education leaders more clearly communicate to parents, elected officials and other community members about the realities of the impacts of the pandemic on the classroom and the time it will take to help our students recover and accelerate.
We encourage our school and district leaders to look for programs that have demonstrated positive effects on student learning. A great resource for evidenced-based interventions is the What Works Clearinghouse and their practice guides organized by topic and grade band.
"Thank you to OLR for sharing reliable data regarding North Carolina's efforts with learning recovery and acceleration for all our public-school students. Translating a complicated research study into something that our parents and community stakeholders can understand is so helpful to our school and district leaders for communicating the true impacts of the pandemic on our students. I believe this approach will yield great opportunities for collaboration and realistic ideas for implementation and sustainability."
~Takeda LeGrand, Ed.D., EJD, Superintendent, Scotland County Schools