Learning loss and getting students back on track after pandemic punch

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT
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The past year has been rough for students, teachers, and school staff.

“I know that our schools and our youth serving organizations are so eager to get the children back in-person and help them recover from all of the craziness of the past year,” Rose Meissner says. She is the President at Community Foundation of St. Joseph County.

A crazy and chaotic school year and that has caused some students to fall behind. Now, they are playing catch-up.

“Catch-up from the learning loss that we know happened in many instances,” Meissner says.

The pandemic provided a pointed punch to school systems. In March of 2020, around 56.4 million students in the United States made the switch to virtual learning. According to UNESCO, 24 million students worldwide are at risk for dropping out of school because of the pandemic.


Three million students have had no formal education since March of 2020, not doing classwork for a variety of reasons, such as not having access to Wi-Fi. More information is at the link below:


Non-white students are around 6-12 months behind on math compared to 6-8 months for white students.


Kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment is down 53,000 students in Michigan.


So how do we get students back on track? The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County says it’s about helping students stay goal oriented and strive for more.

“We are putting intense effort into the 21st Century Scholars program. We have 23 days from now until June 30th for eligible 8th graders to sign up up for that program that could lead to a free college education,” Meissner says.

Getting students involved in the 21st Century Scholars program can help students strive for more and keep their futures bright be believing in the power of education.

“Keep following that dream it’s your whole future depending on it. Don’t let the craziness of the last year derail you,” Meissner says.

For more information on the 21 Century Scholars program and the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, follow the links below:



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