Local schools offering programs to help students catch up with the pandemic

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TULSA, Okla. – Poor statewide test scores show that learning has slowed during the pandemic. Teachers and schools now have a big task ahead of them to help students recover from any learning loss due to the pandemic.

“We had so many interruptions last year with COVID which had to close a class for 10 days,” said Rita Long, principal of Ellen Ochoa Elementary School.

But how do you keep students interested in learning even after the school day is over?

“The commitment is huge,” Long said. “We must have them out there eager to learn.”

Ellen Ochoa Elementary has found a solution with her after-school programs. They use partnerships and a grant from the State Department of Education to create project-based learning programs that will keep students excited to learn. They include activities ranging from basketball to the violin club.

“So we do a lot of self-selection,” Long said. “Students might want to learn more about mammals. So we are integrating reading, writing and math through whatever content they want to learn.”

Ellen Ochoa will host three sessions of her programming, each lasting approximately nine weeks. The first session currently has around 350 students enrolled. They hope to increase that figure to 600 by January.

Meanwhile, Tulsa public schools are also tackling extended learning for students.

“We see teachers who work hard, we see students who are eager to figure out what they need to do to catch up,” said Dr Ebony Johnson, head of learning at Tulsa Public Schools.

But helping students isn’t limited to their grades.

“We have a gap around the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students,” Johnson said. “So we see some areas where we need to step back, reorient and support. And that also directly affects their grade level. Need.”

For academics, TPS offers after-school tutoring services. They also create literacy support programs for students of all grades. They try to fill in the gaps and help students succeed

“Our work schedule for the day has changed a bit,” said Johnson. “Because we make sure that all of our students have an opportunity to intervene.”

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