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Valley schools to address learning loss

Students in class (WHSV, File)
Students in class (WHSV, File)(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - With students back in the classroom, teachers are making up for lost time.

Standards of Learning tests, also known as SOLs, are one way teachers and administrators assess learning.

“It helps us identify learning gaps. We do lots of local assessing and other types of assessments that give us much of the same information, so it’s just another layer to all of that as we make decisions about instruction,” said Tim Teachey, Waynesboro City Schools Executive Director of Instruction.

For Waynesboro Schools, performance results went down, but they say they expected that.

“We knew that we were going to see our students drop in performance, that was not a surprise,” said Dr. India Harris, Director of Secondary Instruction and Testing for Waynesboro City Schools. “It certainly validates that what we know to be true is that students do better in school five days a week, face to face.”

Teachey says the challenge is to backtrack to cover learning loss while also moving forward with new material. However, he says teachers are prepared.

“They’ll build in some of that prerequisite knowledge according to what the data has given us as they continue to move forward with that specific grade level’s SOLs,” said Teachey.

He says the goal is to use the data and build from it.

“I think it’s paying attention to what the information is telling us and then letting that guide us,” Teachey said.

Administrators say they are looking deeper than just the numbers.

“I think what’s important for us to recognize is not only the gaps and where the learning loss is occurring, but who it’s occurring to the most and identifying those sub groups of kids and getting to really focus our attention,” said Teachey.

For Staunton and Waynesboro City Schools, along with Augusta County Schools, scores dropped in reading, math and science. Across the board, math saw the biggest drop, with an average of 33%.

Reading scores dropped by an average of 8% throughout the three districts, and science scores dropped by about 21% on average.

For all the data, follow these links: Staunton, click here; Waynesboro, click here; Augusta County, click here.

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