Elementary students are performing significantly below grade level due to the COVID pandemic, an Arcade Elementary teacher told the Pioneer Board of Education at its Dec. 21 regular meeting.

Mark Kehl, a pre-kindergarten teacher and 30-year classroom veteran, said results from the first trimester of 2021-22 showed a significant lower number of students performing at grade level. 

"The percentage of students grades 1-4 reading below grade level ranged anywhere from 42 to 52 percent," Mr. Kehl said. "Now the good news is that, through our building data meetings with (principal) Mrs. (Mellisa) Devitt, each of these students is receiving either reading intervention, Tier 2 intervention, Tier 3 intervention, or special education services."

Mr. Kehl said the results are not unexpected, given the effects of COVID on families, teaching and learning, and added that all of the staff are committed and engaged toward working hard to bridge this gap. 

"It is the hope that in the board's decision-making that funding be thoughtfully allocated to address learning loss," Mr. Kehl added. "(We hope) that there will be cooperation among the administration, the board and teachers to help resolve the effects of learning loss, so that we can move forward."

Superintendent Ben Halsey assured Mr. Kehl that learning loss will be a big consideration as budget planning season begins.

Agenda for 12/21/21