This year, schools across the nation battled against learning loss caused by the pandemic. School closures have been a common tool to minimize the spread of COVID-19, but emerging data shows that this safety measure has caused real and measurable learning loss among K-12 students. A Voice of the Educator study polled nearly 1,000 educators, including public school K-12 teachers, administrators and support staff in February and March 2021. Nearly all — more than 97% — of educators reported seeing some learning loss in their students over the past year when compared with children in previous years. Across the State of Texas, beginning-of-year assessments showed that only 29% of 3rd graders achieved “meets grade level” scores in reading, only 15% of 4th graders achieved “meets grade level” scores in math, and only 12% of 5th graders achieved “meets grade level” scores in science.
Uplift Education, the largest charter school network in North Texas, is tackling this head on through a proactive approach to summer learning. The network is implementing a summer school program that is designed to address COVID-19 learning loss and prepare students for the rigor of the 2021-2022 school year. Uplift’s Summer Institute will focus on the whole student’s needs, recognizing that the last 15 months have left students needing both academic and social-emotional learning to feel prepared for the coming school year.
Video here: https://youtu.be/mxd4IlNjcSo
Through Uplift’s K-8th Grade Summer Institute, available both virtually and in-person, students in need of extra recovery help will receive Math and English/Language Arts instruction as well as social and emotional learning support through parent community groups and Social and Emotional Learning sessions. The Summer Institute will also offer programming for rising kindergarten and rising 1st grade English learners that will allow them to focus on language development and building routines in a small, in-person school setting.
To support the academic success of high school students, Uplift Education is running an aggressive High School credit recovery program that will allow students in grades 9-12 to recover up to 8 credits this summer, putting them back on track for on-time graduation.
All students in the network will be required to complete summer learning assignments in reading, Language Arts, Math, and other subjects to help reenforce the lessons learned throughout the previous school year. Uplift is also partnering with community organizations to offer its students virtual camps and activities focused on science, nature, reading, the arts, and more.
“At Uplift Education this summer, we will ensure that we act with compassion in understanding the needs of our families, students, and community, while also ensuring that we do not lower our bar of expectations,” said Uplift CEO, Yasmin Bhatia. “We are working hard to understand our students’ needs and respond so that we prepare our students for success in college and life beyond this pandemic. “
“We know that all students were not able to engage in learning at high levels, if at all this past school year. Not all of our virtual students have had the same opportunities to develop pro-social skills, nor have they regularly received both learning and social-emotional supports at the same rate as if we were in-school, said Bhatia. “We are ready to empower our students with that this summer and equip them to be ready for fall.”
Uplift Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of teachers, families, and, most importantly, students. With a network of 46 college preparatory, public charter schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Uplift offers students of any background the powerful chance to study within a multidisciplinary curriculum and prepare for the college career they deserve. Uplift is the largest International Baccalaureate district in Texas and the #2 IB district in the nation because of the number of holistic extracurricular and educational programs. The incredible educators in the Uplift network guide and teach over 21,000 students in Pre-K- 12th?grades, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. For more information Uplift’s mission and their blind lottery selection system, visit?uplifteducation.org?or?facebook.com/uplifteducation.