Alabama school districts offering summer resources to fight against COVID-19 academic slide

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — During 2020, school districts across Alabama dealt with unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting many students’ academic performance.

To help these students get back on track, many school districts will be offering additional resources this summer.

From June 7 through July 2, the Fairfield City School district will hold an optional extended school year, where they will offer a series of programs including math, reading, and STEM activities. The diagnostic testing from last year is what led many school leaders to make this decision. Results from the evaluation showed that 38% of students in grades K-8th were not proficient in math.

In Chilton County, the district provided specialized instructors for students K-12 to help students throughout the year. Despite this, many of them still struggled. To help students this summer, the school system will be offering learning camps for reading and math. Summer school will also be available at no costs for students who were unable to pass their classes.

Another big concern for districts is the Alabama Literacy Act that goes into effect this school year. Third grade students will be required to pass a test showing they can read proficiently before moving to the fourth grade. School leaders say they’ll have to work even harder to ensure students are prepared.

“Not only are we expecting them to uphold a standard they should uphold because they should be reading at grade level. They should be held to that standard, but we had a situation where a once in a lifetime pandemic hit and so yes I am greatly concerned,” Chilton County Superintendent Jason Griffin said.

School district officials say this year, students will be required to return to the classroom and only a select group of students with special circumstances will be able to go to school remotely.

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