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A&M College of Education dean: Students are ‘4-5 months behind,’ but schools are prepared to help

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 10:45 AM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Teachers are going to be “resetting” what they are expecting from students this fall, says Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development Dean Joyce Alexander.

“But the kids who are struggling the most are those who were struggling before the pandemic,” said Alexander on Brazos Valley This Morning. “They will see even larger gaps.”

The solution is multi-pronged, Alexander says, and she believes the schools are prepared to handle it.

“The schools are working on this. They know it’s happening. They have set up tutoring. They’ve hired extra people. They did just get a round of stimulus funding, and so they’re doing what they need to do to help,” said Alexander.

Now, what parents need to do is listen to the educated advice.

“So I think as parents, the first thing we need to do is make sure that when a teacher suggests that our child needs to stay for extra tutoring or maybe could benefit from some summer school next summer, that we don’t take that as a failure for our child. This is really the school trying to help make up for those learning losses,” Alexander said.

The communication must go both ways, too.

“If you notice that [your children] are having more problems than normal, then please let the teacher know,” Alexander said.

It matters because learning loss can be compounding, particularly in subjects like math.

“It builds each year on each year on each year,” said Alexander. “If your child missed a very simple principle, it could have lasting effects that could be very frustrating.”

Alexander points out that help is available outside of the school system, as well. The Texas A&M College of Education and Human development runs the Aggie Homework Helpline, a free tutoring service for area children. Learn more here.

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