Recently, the State of Minnesota released academic scores from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) in reading, math and science. The results confirmed what we all predicted: The pandemic has adversely affected the learning and academic performance of all of our students.
There are many factors for the decline in academic performance of Minnesota students:
• Students experienced numerous disruptions in learning over the past 19 months including distance learning and frequent learning model changes.
• Reduced amount of time spent in-person learning from their teachers in all subject areas.
• Lack of reliable internet access did not allow many of our students access to learning.
• Many of our students struggled with social emotional problems as a result of the pandemic and did not have access to the support they needed or received in school.
As part of the American Rescue Plan funds, each school district needed to develop a learning recovery plan to help our students accelerate their learning. We understand that each student has been impacted differently by the pandemic, and we know each student needs some form of academic or social emotional support over the next several years.
Based on our needs assessment, family surveys, and student data we have developed a comprehensive learning recovery plan to support all of our students including but not limited to the following:
• Expanded summer school and credit recovery programs.
• Expanded after school programs for students who need academic support.
• Additional social emotional programming for all elementary and high school students.
• Hire additional licensed staff at both schools in the areas of literacy, social work, credit recovery, academic and behavioral support, and alternative learning.
• Provide school staff professional development on literacy, math, trauma informed instruction, social emotional learning, and positive behavior support.
• Implement individual recovery services for special education students.
Over the next several years, Mora Public Schools is committed to helping ALL of our students recover from the pandemic. We will continue to assess the ongoing progress of our students academically, socially and emotionally and will respond with the necessary programming and support for our students and their families.
Thankfully, Mora schools has a solid foundation of providing strong academic programs and social emotional resources for our students. We will continue to build upon that foundation to ensure our students’ needs are met.
Dan Voce is the superintendent of Mora Public Schools.