Charleston school district starts summer school due to learning gap from COVID-19

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:19 AM CDT
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CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way students learned throughout the whole school year.

For one Heartland school district it caused a learning gap.

To close the gap, some students in the Charleston R-I School District will continue learning throughout the summer.

At Warren E. Hearnes Elementary in-person learning is vital for a student’s success.

“Nothing can take the place of being here, in school,” said Anne Willis, math interventionist.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, students were forced to pack up early and learn through a screen.

“We got out of school in March so, you know, the kids did not have any instruction from March until August,” she said.

Students now are not at the levels they should be for next school year.

Education leaders report that students are struggling the most in subjects like math and reading.

“COVID, it did not help anything at all,” she said.

So now, summer school is back after years of not having it.

“We decided to go ahead and start this summer, there’s some kinks that need to be worked out and really see where kids are,” Willis said.

Willis is hopeful summer school can help put these kids back on top.

“I really hope that the kids have a sense of confidence. There are some weaknesses and some gaps, but I think with the right tools and the right teaching techniques, we can make them feel more confident,” she said.

Speech and Language Pathologist, Heidi Jones, said this summer one on one time can be very beneficial.

“We were given the opportunity to have a couple of teachers come in and do math pull out and reading pull out for individualized instruction. So that’s kind of the decision we made, to just maybe bridge that gap between what they might have missed,” she said.

So these students will continue learning in hopes of closing that gap.

“Let’s keep working on what we’ve been working on all year long and then start again at the beginning of the new year,” said Jones.

School Principal Adam Grindstaff said there were many positive outcomes from this past school year as well.

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