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Washington County teachers work hard to overcome pandemic learning loss

Teachers at Ridge Road Elementary have put in overtime to help their fourth and fifth grade students who fell behind in reading and math

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. — The pandemic affected many students' ability to learn when school buildings closed. Teachers at Washington County's Ridge Road Elementary collected data that showed many of their 3rd and 4th grade students were two or more grade levels behind in reading and math.

When they returned on campus, teachers put in overtime and reached their goal to get students on track. Their hard work makes them our 'School of the Week!

When it comes to math and reading, Ridge Road third and fourth grade students love to learn.

"I like math because it's always been the easiest subject to me," said Mia Sanders. "I like solving the problems so I'll understand that part of the lesson more."

When schools closed because of COVID-19, their learning environment changed and many students fell behind. Some said they were sad they didn't get to finish the school year, while others were stressed with trying to catch up.

When they returned to campus this school year, teachers like Laura Prince and Natasha Parker came up with a plan to get students back on track.

"When we got the August data, we saw that there were a lot of students who were two or three grade levels behind. Most likely [due to] pandemic learning from home, so the goal there was to help 50% grow," said Prince.

"We have about 75-80% of about 200 students who are improving, and we're actually really proud because the fourth grade reading and math came at the same time. We met that together," said Parker.

The teachers meet weekly to discuss lesson plans and create individual learning paths for each student. Sanders says being with her teacher in-person helps her learn better.

"She notices what we need help with and then if there's a few people who need that, she gets us in groups and works with us like that," said Sanders.

"We just want to keep working and pushing and keep rising up," said Parker.

About 150 out of 200 fourth graders, or roughly 75%, improved their reading and math scores. The same amount of third graders improved their math scores.

The teachers planned to reach the goal by the end of the school year, but accomplished it in Dec. 2020.

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