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Practical Steps You Can Take this Fall to Prevent Further Slide

While there are many unknowns for next school year, one thing is certain: there’s great importance in screening all of your students this upcoming fall regardless of where and how instruction is provided.

Universal screening in schools is similar to taking your child to the doctor for regular well-child visits. Physicians know the typical growth that infants and children should be making as they grow, and well-child visits give parents and their care providers an opportunity to address any differences observed between a child’s actual and expected height, weight, and other health variables.

In the same way, teachers can use school-based screening data to compare a child’s academic and behavior data with school-based expectations for learning. Such screening is even more important now because learning has been disrupted for most students. In addition, the combination of flat growth or decline from spring 2020 disruption along with the typical summer loss means that the best starting place for fall instruction might not be where you had started instruction in the past.

Universal screening data will help teachers know what instruction students need as the school year begins.

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4 Frequently Asked Questions About Remote Universal Screening

During this period of remote learning, educators have been concerned with the possibility of learning loss in what is known as the “COVID slide.” We hosted a webinar to discuss how teams can leverage spring data via screening and progress monitoring as ways to identify and support students during this time. In that session, we’ve fielded some additional questions that we thought might be helpful to address for the rest of our audiences. The following is our response to four frequently asked questions.

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Use Spring Data Now to Disrupt the COVID Slide

This spring, learning has shifted primarily in three ways.

Some schools have completely closed and teachers are no longer working with students, while others have adapted to a model in which attendance is optional and work is ungraded. And a few schools are still operating on a familiar schedule where attendance is expected and work is graded.

In any case, formative assessment is as important as ever. When teachers can’t be in the same room as the students, having access to key data to determine student needs is really essential.

But how does this happen in a virtual learning environment?

You may discover that screening data is really valuable at identifying students whose learning has plateaued so that you can act now to prevent any further slide.

In this post, we’ll offer some thoughts on how you can use spring screening data to identify students who may need additional support, and then discuss strategies to engage students whose learning appears to have plateaued.

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The “COVID Slide” isn’t inevitable. Here’s what to do about it now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new challenges and opportunities for students and teachers. As schools across the U.S. work through how they will provide distance-based remote instruction for students, we know based on our conversations with educators in different districts and states, and from recent data pulled from the Education Commission of the States, that many different approaches and methods are being used. These range from districts telling teachers not to teach anything (i.e., no instruction) to video-conference-based lessons on a par with what students would be experiencing in the classroom.

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