ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The approach to education has had to change because of the pandemic.
According to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States, it has led to learning loss for students.
ROC the Future is hoping to mitigate the issue.
Maria Cruz of Rochester is on checking in on the studies of her oldest daughter Samantha, who is in ninth grade, and on her youngest, Mariana, a sixth-grader.
For Cruz, it’s important to stay involved in their education.
“I’ve been working from home and I guess they get on me about being a helicopter mom. So you kinda have to hover over them and make sure they are doing the right time, make sure they are logging in,” Cruz explained.
The pandemic has mostly removed students from the classroom.
Stephanie Townsend of Roc the Future, an organization looking to improve the educational outcomes of Rochester students, says research has shown that switch has contributed to learning loss in students.
“What we are finding nationally is that in those grade levels. The losses in math are two to three times greater than in reading. And here in Rochester, we know that for reading, grades two, three, four, five and six, that we expect are the ones that are most impacted. And for math, it’s grades three, four and five," Townsend said.
To combat this, Townsend explains they are focused on a rapid prioritization strategy that aims to get the schools, parents and community members involved in the education of Rochester students.
Roc the Future has also outlined some guidelines on their website on how to mitigate learning loss.
“Everywhere you go is an opportunity for children to learn. We just need to be thoughtful and intentional about that. Sometimes it’s as simple as engaging in conversation with your child. What do you see? What stands out to you here?” said Townsend.
It’s a method Cruz has practiced and is already seeing results for.
“Mariana doesn’t care for reading but I noticing that she starting watching cartoons that are Japanese and she’s been reading the captions. And by reading the captions, she just jumped an entire grade level in her reading,” said Cruz.
With summer vacation approaching, Cruz hopes to keep their minds engaged.
“My plan for the summer is mostly they have to be kids, and the other thing, well they can do their reading. They can do math while cooking, doing stuff like that, and learning more life skills cause we are very focused on the learning and that’s very, very important but we also have to make sure that their mental health is the first priority right now with this crisis,” said Cruz.