Higher learning losses among South Callaway students due to COVID-19

The last couple of years, South Callaway R-2 administered an assessment to see how much material students forgot over the summer. Instructors found the drop-off was higher this year. 

CALLAWAY COUNTY- Over the last couple of years, the South Callaway R-II School District administered an assessment to see how much material students forgot over the summer.

Instructors found the drop-off this year was higher.

"We know that there had to be some drop-off because for some students. That was a long time before they came back into our schools on Aug. 24 of this year," South Callaway Superintendent Kevin Hillman said.

Compared to the start of the 2019-20 school year, the assessment found students had a 24% loss of learning in reading skills and a 29% loss in math skills. It also found 3% of students were less ready for the next level of reading and 6% for the next level of math.

Because the assessment has only been administered the last couple of years, the results are somewhat inconclusive, according to South Callaway Elementary Principal Corey Pontius. 

"We don't have a whole lot of data to go back on to compare the loss of learning from last spring," Pontius said.

Teachers have worked to recover those lost skills by increasing their literacy blocks and intervention times.

"From where we were in August until now, there's a huge improvement already," Pontius said. 

The assessments are administered at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. Pontius said he's looking forward to the next assessment in December and expects the percentage of lost material to decrease

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