NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This week, the Biden administration is set to announce safe ways for schools to return to in-person learning fulltime, focusing more on combatting COVID-19 rather than vaccinating teachers.
The guidance can’t come soon enough for parents who fear their kids are falling behind.READ MORE: NYC Middle School Teachers Concerned COVID Cases Will Spike After In-Person Learning Resumes
In the midst of such a stressful school year, it’s good to hear the happy squeals of kids sliding down a snow-covered hill.
Especially at a time when COVID slide, or loss of learning, is such a big concern for their parents.
“She’s only in school for two hours and 45 minutes a day,” Tarrytown resident Sara Wells said. “We’re doing the best we can, but it feels like it will never ever be enough.”
Wells and her husband both work fulltime, and they worry that with little Zoe splitting time between the classroom and living room, there will be some serious catching up to do in first grade.
“We have children the same age and I wonder what you’ve been most concerned about,” CBS2’s Jessica Layton asked Wells.
“Where I really feel she’s losing that time is just in terms of the amount of writing that they would be doing at school, the amount of literacy,” Wells said.
“We’re finding that families are at their wits’ end,” said Sara Rich, the founder of Just Right Reader.
Just Right Reader sends boxes of age-appropriate books to kids across the country. Business has tripled since the start of the pandemic.READ MORE: New Jersey Elementary School’s Book Vending Machine An Innovative Project, And Pandemic Distraction
“Everyone wants their child to be successful, and they’re just not sure what to do to help that,” Rich said.
“Overarchingly, we’re seeing kids with upwards of a half a year to possibly even up to one year loss in learning,” said Lynette Guastaferro, of Teaching Matters.
She’s trying to help schools bridge that gap.
“It’s not about lowering standards, but it’s about prioritizing standards,” Guastaferro said.
Both experts say in the meantime, make sure your kids have a reading routine, at least 15-20 minutes a day.
Keep them organized and engaged in virtual learning, and check in with teachers.
“It’s gonna start to be hard to make up all of the time that she would normally be in school,” Wells said.
But in theory, many kids will be in the same boat, and the added family time at home can’t be overlooked.MORE NEWS: Rallies Held Across NYC Calling For Public Schools To Reopen, After-School Sports To Resume
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.