Savannah-Chatham school leaders have plan to try to address learning loss

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - March 13, 2020, was the last day Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) students were inside a classroom for a full week.

But that will all change next week, as they head back to their schools for the new year.

Schools in Savannah-Chatham will be full again for in-person learning on Wednesday, Aug.4. It’s a much-anticipated day as learning loss was a major concern from the pandemic. Savannah-Chatham leaders say their summer learning program helped 6,000 students, but they are ready to help all 37,000 soon with assessments.

“Part of that adjustment is understanding that that assessment will be key so that our teachers have the information they need to actually be able to plan with a purpose and plan around that data so that they meet that student’s need. So, we’re not going to just accept that. We are going to actually put those strategies in place to combat that and to make sure that we’re closing those gaps,” Associated Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Bernadette Ball-Oliver said.

Once school leaders assess students’ learning level, they can use the system called “It’s Learning” to customize a teaching plan. Classes will also use some of the tech they bought for e-learning back in the classrooms.

In addition to academics, school leaders said they’ll have a focus on social emotional learning because it’s been more than a year and a half since some students have been in a classroom five days a week.

“You’ll see their guidance counselors will also, while they have always been there for students, I think you’ll see a more formalized schedule to ensure there are opportunities for those one-to-one meetings as well as those small and large groups. And I think you will see that our teachers also will be implementing strategies within the classroom to support them from a social and emotional learning,” Ball-Oliver said.

Students will return masked up for school on Aug. 4.

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