The sudden school closures this past spring catapulted school districts into the realm of remote instruction with little preparation. Virtual learning was the safest way to attend classes; however, some students did not attend regularly or at all and task completion was a challenge as parents assumed the herculean task of working from home and trying to support their children with their education online. As a result, many parents are wondering how much (or if) their child has learned in the first round of remote schooling, and look forward to the fall with continued trepidation even with some form of combined in-person and online instruction.
Worry with no data just breeds more anxiety, making the importance of obtaining a baseline of where each child’s learning stands and then monitoring the progress going forward paramount. Standardized tests that were developed to be administered online can provide the hard data parents, teachers, and tutors are seeking to know where each student ranks in a representative sample of same grade peers. The findings of these assessments will give an accurate picture of whether students are functioning on grade level and what areas of reading and math require more attention.
As schools attempt to resume some in-person instruction, child study teams may begin to conduct testing. However, most districts are backlogged with testing not conducted or completed and these teams provide testing primarily for students with or suspected of having special needs. For the majority of students, response to intervention teams (RTI) may also become backed up as students return and many RTI teams may not do testing.
Parents seeking some concrete information about their student can obtain this privately without further delay and then use the findings to help their child stay afloat for the remainder of the social distancing era. Parents, teachers, and tutors can target areas of concern now instead of taking the chance of losing another part of an academic year.