School superintendents in Broward and Miami are calling children not showing up to school, “disappearing students.” These students are missing school entirely, as they are not showing up online or in person. This trend can be seen across the country during the coronavirus pandemic. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, said “We literally have missing children. Children who never showed up for the very first day of schooling in our communities. These are often referred to as ‘no shows.’”
Miami-Dade County began the school year missing around 1,700 students, and despite the district’s efforts, they are still missing around a thousand. In Broward County, Superintendent Robert Runcie says they are seeing a similar trend, with students who have completely disappeared from their attendance rolls. If children are not in schools, they are not learning. The “disappearing students” are not benefiting from the protections that their school systems can provide.
In an even more shocking discovery, according to estimates from Bellwether Education Partners, between 1 to 3 million students in the United States have possibly never attended school since pandemic related closures began in March. The five high risk groups that have likely had the most difficulty connecting to school virtually are homeless students, children with disabilities, migrant students, English learners and those in foster care.
We know how difficult distance learning has been for many students in our community, disproportionately affecting those that come from lower-income backgrounds. Other research suggests that one study of the ‘Covid-19 Slide’ estimates that children will be returning to school with only a half year’s gain in math and reading. These numbers are shocking and are likely to rise if schools do not open to full capacity. To ensure that our children do not fall behind, Jump Start Tutors conduct online tutoring and in-person tutoring services for all students.
Why aren’t students attending school?
There are many reasons why 3 million students aren’t attending school. It is well known that many students lack the devices or internet options to fully participate in virtual learning. A national analysis suggests that before the pandemic, as many as 16.9 million children lacked home internet access, and around 7.3 million children did not have a computer at home. These students disproportionately live in low-income households. Gaps in technology access persist today even after efforts in many school districts to directly distribute technology or reach students in other ways. Schools in South Florida are trying to persuade more parents that schools are safe places in the age of Covid-19 and that online learning may not be the best option. For example, data shows the number of student absences and failing grades have doubled since last year.
- Many English learners and students with disabilities do not have many options to receive the educational accommodations and services to which they are legally entitled, making learning difficult
- Students who are in foster care and others experiencing homelessness encountered obstacles with education before the pandemic, and this year, instability, confusion, and poor communication are unfortunately even more widespread for them.
- Some students have also transitioned to work, both formal and informal jobs, while others are providing full time primary care and learning support for other children, like younger siblings, in their homes.
- The pandemic has also isolated students experiencing neglect and who have serious mental health needs, cutting them off from their teachers and other school staff trained to spot warning signs. Early local reporting suggests widespread decreases in child neglect and mental health.
The long term consequences of this pandemic on education are difficult to estimate. Typically, once a student leaves school and is no longer in a traditional routine that centers around education, it is difficult for them to re-enter and re-adjust.
One study of a large, urban district found that two-thirds of high school dropouts never re-enrolled, and among those who do, about half drop out of school again. Conditions that might push students out of school during this pandemic are different, however even if all of the currently missing students return to school as soon as they are allowed to do so, months of missed opportunities for learning could mean permanent setbacks for them.
In addition, even much shorter disruptions to learning can have long term consequences on students’ knowledge and skills, achievement, path to college and career, and lifetime goals. Taking into consideration a long overdue investment of resources and unplanned interferences, students who were already at an educational disadvantage will lag even further behind their peers who had access to education during this time.
The negative educational effects of the pandemic will be compounded by the effects of increased job loss, housing instability, and adverse health consequences of Covid-19, all of which will be harder on low-income families. The outcome of this disruption will reflect through generations and communities.
What should leaders do about missing students?
Public leaders at every level of government must develop, implement, and enforce coherent strategies to try fixing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, enforce removal of community virus transmission, and eventually enable safe community reopenings, prioritizing a safe return to school for all students. Schools, children, and families alike cannot solve these underlying issues that have disrupted education for every child nationwide. It is clear that there are no true solutions to our current educational crisis without addressing the public health crisis constraining many of our options both in and out of school.
How private one-on-one and small group tutoring can help students
The importance of private tutoring sets the highest standard for individualized instruction. Learning is faster and more focused with a one-on-one program revolving entirely around the educational needs of a single student. The freedom to arrange instruction at times that do not conflict with other commitments encourages consistency even during busy times. In addition, tutors and students have the opportunity to develop the kind of understanding that improves learning at home without distraction. Small group tutoring offers the same opportunities for customized instruction and scheduling, especially when students prefer working in groups. Students in a small group tutoring setting also tend to support and motivate each other.
Jump Start is committed to finding trending topics and offering you free and effective educational resources. Resources are always a great tool for supplementation and for enhancing your child’s learning strategy.
However, students who are struggling to adjust with virtual learning may be behind and finding it harder to stay on track. As such, this may be an especially daunting and stressful time in their education.
Building important study strategies and organizational skills play a key role in determining grades, and subsequently affecting student’s performance and placement in more advanced classes.
We understand the unique challenges students face when learning online. That is why all of our tutors are top-tier college level graduates who score in the top 5% for every subject they tutor, so our students can be confident taking advice from them.
With Jump Start’s tutoring services, finding a friendly and helpful tutor that will work with your student one-on-one with a customized approach is easy!
Choosing our private one-on-one and small group tutoring services provides all students with a blueprint customized to ensure their maximum success in their academics. Our tutors will provide tips and motivation to help students adjust to new and beneficial academic habits.
Disruptions to learning can have long term consequences on students’ knowledge and skills, achievement, path to college and career, and lifetime goals. Taking into consideration a long overdue investment of resources and unplanned interferences, students who were already at an educational disadvantage will lag even further behind their peers who had access to education during this time.
Students struggling to adjust to virtual learning can expect an academic edge by receiving help navigating their online courses with a hands-on learning experience in-home or online; as they discover their learning style and prepare for exams in reading, writing, math, science, history, test prep, study skills and much more!
We focus on creating a plan for students in K-12 and in college to receive the necessary guidance and tools to score at the top.
Additionally, our high school and college students benefit from our educational consulting services, helping them develop key vocational skills and internships that will help them prepare for a prosperous future outside of the classroom. Our consulting services also include suggestions on class schedules, scholarships and college entrance.
Choosing our online one-on-one and small group tutoring services includes interactive whiteboards, screen sharing, document sharing and video tools to make online learning more personalized and fun.
Give your child the gift of education by signing up for our in home or online tutoring services today!
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