(pictured above: Lisa Lamb, President and CEO of the Lewis Center for Educational Research)
There were expectations for a huge influx of failing grades in K-12 schooling over this past year due to COVID-19. According to local school officials that’s not necessarily the case.
“Surprisingly, the number of “F’s” hasn’t changed,” said Lisa Lamb, President and CEO of the Lewis Center for Educational Research which operates 2 charter schools in San Bernardino County. “The difference is who is receiving them.”
“When we analyze who is getting those F’s it has shot up exponentially for those who are at a socioeconomic disadvantage,” said Lamb.
This year has been tumultuous for everyone, but Lamb said that the students and families who are impacted the most correlates to those who struggle financially at home.
Many students did not have access to WIFI or a laptop, which made it almost impossible for them to get their work completed and pass their classes. To help mitigate these gaps in achievement, there have been grants given out by the state to aid the districts specifically with learning loss mitigation.
Lamb plans on making summer school at both of her schools more interactive and even “camp-like”, as opposed to it usually feeling like punishment.
Grants from the state and federal level help school districts create experiences like this while also being able to maintain sanitation. “I have not seen resistance from the sanitization process by a single student,” said Lamb. “They’re just so happy to be back in school that they will almost do anything.”
Lamb said that if there was one thing she would do differently looking back on this year, it would be to give training to the parents, especially K-6, earlier and to take them more seriously.
“I did not expect to be conducting school this way for over a year and quickly realized how important it is to keep the parents involved and informed as well,” said Lamb.
According to Lamb, the biggest hurdle that needs attention is scheduling. It’s important to get all the kids back as soon as possible, she said.
Looking into this next year, administration, parents, teachers, and students alike will be more prepared than ever to deal with what 2021 has in store for us.