Big money from the State of Indiana to fight pandemic learning loss

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Learning loss from the pandemic is a big concern for the Indiana Department of Education.

“An issue that a lot of schools are facing, which is making sure that kids have the resources and the continuing education this summer to help address learning opportunities they may not have received over the last year,” Holly Lawson says. She is the Deputy Director of Communications with the Indiana Department of Education.

Here in Michiana we’re seeing some increase in demand for summer school programs. Summer school enrollment at Penn Harris Madison schools is up 14% for high school students, with an increase of 20% for PHM middle schoolers, and an increase of 22% for elementary students.

As for schools across the entire state, the Indiana Department of Education says iLearn standardized test scores will be reported next month, and it’s not looking good.

“Early results are showing that learning is down in English, Language Arts, and we’re seeing even more substantial learning deficiencies in math,” Lawson says.

Last week, the Indiana Department of Education began issuing grants to enhance summer learning programs to get students back on track and recover from the learning loss during the pandemic.

In total, around $122 million got dished out across the state as part of the Student Learning Recovery Plan, including right here in Michiana.

The Boys and Girls Club of St Joseph County along with South Bend Community Schools, School City of Mishawaka, and Career Success Academy got $7.7 million.

Boys and Girls club of Goshen along with Goshen Community Schools got over $756,000.

“It’s very important that programs like this over the summer and beyond are really honing in on individual student results and where kids need the most help,” Lawson says.

We’ll see just how much help students will need, when those iLearn scores come out.

“iLearn results are released next month, take a look at those and see how your kid is doing, and work with your school,” Lawson adds.

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