QPS teachers, students navigating a new learning environment


QUINCY (WGEM) – Some school districts in Illinois are still struggling to close learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the superintendents

The data of the 2021 Illinois Readiness Assessment showed that 16.6% fewer students met grade level standards in English in 2021 than in 2019 and 17.8% fewer students met grade level standards in mathematics.

But Quincy Public School District officials said their students have mostly returned to pre-pandemic learning levels.

QPS program director Kim Dinkheller said they have been preparing for a long time to ensure in-person learning continues to run smoothly.

She said having the kids opt for in-person learning last year helps prepare them for a year without major COVID-related restrictions.

She said there are still students who are late, but it’s hard to say if COVID is to blame.

“We are always looking at our school levels as a whole. Do we notice that there might be a gap in achievement in one grade level, but perhaps not in another area? Dinkheller said. “So we can take a look at our teaching practices or our curriculum layout to see, ‘Are we missing something that causes more students at a particular level to fall behind than others?

She said examples of help available to students include tutoring services, summer courses and after-school options where teachers can work one-on-one with students outside of regular class hours.

This school year also represents a change for some students who now find themselves in a learning environment free of major coronavirus restrictions.

Second-grade teacher Stephanie Stephens said a few students didn’t opt ​​for in-person learning last year, but quickly adapted to learning around other students.

“In my class I have a lot of fidgets and fidget seats that students can use and we like to get them out of their seats and give them brain breaks to move around too and that’s just normal for kids in this age,” Stephens said.

Stephens said precautions were in place to help students fall behind. She said if students are struggling with a lesson, she said there is a computer program that assigns activities and lessons to help improve their understanding.

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