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We now know the enormous toll the pandemic’s months of school closures, economic stress, illness and death had on children and their families.
Children lost months of in-person instruction and millions struggled to stay on track in their classes. Many failed and some disappeared completely. Trauma and stress were as much of a barrier to learning as a lack of internet access, and educators recognized that addressing children’s mental health would be essential for getting school back to normal.
Fortunately, research and experience tell us what’s most likely to work to help children catch up and move ahead.
At the beginning of 2021, The Hechinger Report’s members (individual readers who donated money to our nonprofit news organization) asked us if we would report on the best practices for helping the nation’s public school system recover from the pandemic.
So, we’ve spent several months traveling the country learning from schools applying best practices and from researchers and educators who have studied what works.
The science of catching up
When kids pick their ‘trusted adult,’ it pays off
Rural areas have been slow to connect to broadband. More public funding could speed things up
Zeroing in on a handful of strategies to catch kids up in math
Digital divide: Gap is narrowing, but how will schools maintain progress?
Children’s brains on stress
International newcomer academies offer lessons on how to quickly catch up children who are learning English
How one district went all-in on a tutoring program to catch kids up
Kids are failing algebra. The solution? Slow down.
Learning from Lockdown
Earlier this year The Hechinger Report partnered with the Education Labs at AL.com, the Dallas Morning News, Fresno Bee, Seattle Times, The Christian Science Monitor and Solutions Journalism Network to produce a series of solutions-oriented stories on the best lessons from lockdown.