ISD 199 Learning During COVID-19

ISD 199 Students Show Less Learning Loss Than Students Nationwide During Pandemic
Posted on 04/27/2022
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Since schools closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many news outlets have reported on unfinished learning, sometimes called “learning loss.” National data shows significant declines in student growth over the past two years. However, when the national data is compared to data for Inver Grove Heights Schools, it shows that ISD 199 students made more growth during the pandemic than their peers across the country.

Different organizations define “learning loss” in different ways, but the term generally refers to the declines in student growth that followed disruptions caused by the pandemic. More accurately, this can be called unfinished learning. Before students returned for the current 2021-2022 school year, ISD 199 staff prioritized assessing students to combat unfinished learning and find out what each student needed to learn at or above grade level.

Every year, ISD 199 and schools across the country give their students a Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The standardized test measures student achievement and growth in reading and math. This past fall, student participation in the MAP assessment more closely matched participation in a typical year not impacted by COVID-19.

ISD 199 staff used data from the fall of 2019 as a baseline because it was the last year not impacted by COVID-19. They measured data from the fall of this school year against that baseline and found that ISD 199 student growth had declined by about 3 points in both reading and math. They compared ISD 199’s 3-point decline to the national average and found that ISD 199 student growth was not nearly as negatively impacted as national student growth.

National MAP data shows that growth for U.S. students declined by 3-6 points in reading and 8-12 points in math. While ISD 199 students are on the low end of the national decline in reading, they are showing much more growth than the national average in math.

ISD 199 has taken intentional steps to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on student learning. Learning partners work side-by-side with teachers in the classroom to assist with and model high quality core instruction, lessons personalized to student needs, targeted small groups, support, and best practices. Student and family success coaches work closely with students, families, and teachers to provide social emotional and mental health support and resources so students can stay in class and engaged in learning. Thanks to ISD 199 voters, the district was also able to update its math curriculum for elementary school students using funds approved during the 2017 referendum. The updated curriculum helps young students build an even stronger foundation in math that will equip them to excel in middle school, high school, college, and career.

Although the district is pleased that students are showing more growth than the average U.S. student, ISD 199 will continue to use MAP assessment results to increase student growth, whether students have unfinished learning or not. MAP assessment results will help teachers personalize learning so students receive support where they need it and challenge where they need it.

Thank you to the staff, families, and students whose hard work resulted in student growth above the national average despite a global pandemic. Thank you, also, for continuing to partner with the school district to support students as they recover any unfinished learning.