Long-term effects of online learning are still being felt in Miami Valley schools

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KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — While Ohio districts are now fully in-person, the long-term effects of online learning are still being felt. Schools are always concerned about student engagement in the classroom.

School districts said there was still some catching up to do to meet students’ learning, social and emotional needs, but schools said those issues were improving with each passing day.

“Learning on a computer to be in class all day every day and teaching all day every day for that matter is a work in progress,” said Kettering Town Schools Deputy Superintendent Dan Von Handorf.

Ohio Education Association (OEA) President Scott DiMauro said the long-term impact of virtual learning on children shows up in many forms, including some students appearing disengaged and some students acting more.

“There’s a lot of catching up to do when it comes to socialization, when it comes to, you know, meeting the learning needs and meeting the social and emotional needs of children and adults,” DiMauro said.

Von Handorf said teachers work hard to establish a routine and find creative activities to inspire students to learn again.

“I just spoke to one of our elementary counselors last night and she said they are really turning a corner now and the kids are starting to understand and they are doing a much better job after the winter break” , Von Handorf said.

DiMauro said it’s not just schools that have to do the work as students adapt, the role of parents is equally crucial.

“We need to make sure that the expectations teachers set for students in the classroom are reinforced in the messages kids get from their parents when they come home,” DiMauro said.

Von Handorf said teachers’ efforts to improve engagement are working. He said the district’s winter benchmarks for reading and math showed significant improvement.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there,” Von Handorf said.

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