RALEIGH NC (WNCN) – The lasting impacts of COVID-19 on students have led more families to turn to tutors or outside learning programs to try to fill the gaps created during the pandemic.
At the Wade Edwards Learning Lab, a nonprofit that provides teens with educational support and programs, the number of students seeking tutoring has grown from 30 to 85 students from last year to present.
“Not everyone learns at the same rate and so it will always be a thing, but I think the pandemic has widened it so much that we are seeing students with knowledge gaps from multiple grade levels at this point,” said the success manager of the WELL Learning Center. said Pierce Watson.
Additionally, Huntington Learning Center executive director Nader Sobhan said he has also seen two and a half times as many students doing tutoring over the past year.
“We can’t just start tutoring, we have to find out what’s wrong. We have to find what is missing,” Sobhan said. “We come back and we work on the foundations, we work on the basics.”
Both centers said the virtual school was one of the biggest impacts on student learning.
“Everyone I spoke to, every student I spoke to was unhappy with virtual learning and struggling to be motivated,” Watson said.
A new report from the Department of Public Instruction shows that students have made less progress in almost all grades and in all subjects than before the pandemic.
This is especially true for fifth- to ninth-grade math and eighth-grade science.
Dr. Michael Maher of DPI’s Office of Recovery and Accelerated Learning said this is the first comprehensive statewide view of the extent to which the pandemic has moved away students of previously expected levels of learning.
“If we really want to be serious about back to school, we need to know where we start. So it really gives us that benchmark,” Maher said.
The report showed that learning losses increased even more for students who remained virtual, as well as for economically disadvantaged students.
“I think it’s pretty clear that for the vast majority of kids in our state, in-person learning is superior,” Maher said.
Maher said DPI plans to forward the data to members of the General Assembly and to think about several programs that could help students catch up over the summer.