Guilford County Schools works to battle learning loss


GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Massive learning loss is forcing Guilford County School leaders to come up with alternate ways to educate kids who have been out of class for almost a year.

On Tuesday night, the school system decided middle and high school students will remain at home for at least the next three weeks.

This just adds to challenges that parents, teachers and administrators are already dealing with.

“Students could be losing as much as 183 days of learning time and reading. 232 days in math,” explained Guilford County school leaders during a Board of Education meeting. “There’s a 40% failing rate.”

10 months into the pandemic, some students have never been in their classroom engaging with friends and teachers.

“All of the data is overwhelming, how much our kids are going to be behind for many years,” added School Board member Pat Tillman.

The board is now focused on how to keep these children moving forward and making sure they get the core education they deserve.

“[We’re] trying to provide opportunities to catch students up, rather than having them repeat content,” a school leader said during the meeting.

There’s a plan in the works to bring back learning hubs for four days a week.

“These learning hubs would be set up with a math teacher so that there’s real instruction and real curriculum and learning going on,” explained Tillman. “That would be a program that would be in effect four days a week. You would have a morning session and an afternoon session.”

Tutors are also being added. Summer academies are expected to expand.

“There are a lot of students who have already given up this school year. They need more than just the threat of failing. They need actual support,” said parent Jennifer Cruz.

Her high schooler is one of those students.

Cruz told FOX8 she appreciates the board’s efforts, but feels members are not addressing the real problem

“They’re not taking into consideration that a lot of students aren’t able, or in a position where they can do in-person tutoring,” she said.

She would like to see those, and other remedial opportunities offered virtually.

“We need to be able to reach all of the students and come up with solutions, for all of them in order to make them successful,” explained Cruz.

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