Fulton Schools data examines how pandemic has affected students’ academics

A year into the pandemic, there is no denying it has impacted kids schooling in some way.

Fulton County School officials have a better idea of exactly how much the pandemic has affected academics over the past year.

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik got a look at the district’s data and the next steps it plans to take.

Veronica Johnson’s daughters are learning virtually this year because of the pandemic. While they are missing out on socialization, Johnson said they are learning life skills.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with this school year,” she said.

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Fulton schools leaders say the pandemic has affected student learning.

The district found in fourth through 7th grades, the average student lost between 1/10th of a month to nearly a month of math and nearly half a month to almost two and a half months of reading.

It found impacts were greater with boys versus girls, for students whose second language is English and students on free and reduced lunch.

“Situations in our community struggle in terms of opportunity gaps going into COVID, exacerbated by COVID. We also saw that in the data,” said District Chief Academic Officer Cliff Jones.

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Jones said a taskforce is researching ways to shore up any losses, possibly by extended summer schooling and small group teaching.

“It needs to be differentiated for different communities, different student groups, but it also needs a comprehensive and collaborative effort,” he said.

It’s an effort that Johnson said she feels is necessary.

“The school district is stepping up to do their part,” she said.

The district has several work groups coming with a game plan. They are planning to release it to the school board and the public in late April.

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