Back to school: As LAUSD students return to campus, teachers work to offset pandemic learning loss

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Monday, August 16, 2021
Back to school: LAUSD teachers work to offset pandemic learning loss
With Los Angeles Unified School District students set to return to campus, educators are working to offset learning loss that occurred during remote learning.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With Los Angeles Unified School District students set to return to campus Monday for the beginning of the fall semester, educators are working to offset learning loss that occurred during a year of remote learning.

In an interview with ABC7, teacher Keara Williams said teaching during the coronavirus pandemic "was a lot of learning -- I mean, everyone was learning -- veteran teachers, newer teachers, students, adapting to technology."

Williams said some educators devoted hours of extra time, helping struggling students during remote learning.

"It was a lot of working after hours," she said.

As hard as teachers worked to keep students engaged, a report released a few months ago titled "Educational Recovery Now" said students at all levels in the LAUSD have suffered "alarming" academic harm during the pandemic.

LAUSD students, staff head to COVID-19 testing sites ahead of first day of fall classes

Ahead of LAUSD's first day of fall classes on Monday, many students, teachers and staff headed to various district COVID-19 testing sites.

The report, conducted by Great Public Schools Now, a local advocacy group, found that more than 13,000 middle and high school students consistently disengaged during the fall semester of last year, and an additional 56,000 did not actively participate on a daily basis.

The report found that Black and Latino elementary school students fell the furthest behind.

As an educator, Williams said, she and many other teachers dedicated themselves to finding creative ways to meet the educational needs of underprivileged students.

"Just making sure your curriculum met the students where they were at," she said, "and allowed them to follow on their own if they weren't able to attend class."

Families who could afford tutoring for their children gained an edge during remote learning.

"I had the privilege of being an online tutor for about six months prior to the pandemic, due to my work schedule and traveling," Angela Brockunier said. "So I was actually a pro before the pandemic and became an even greater pro once they came out with all these new updates."

Brockunier is hoping that tutoring resources will be made available to students as they get back into classrooms.

"I personally think that there should be companies out there that are offering free tutoring for children all over the L.A. school system," she told ABC7. "So I'm hoping that that can become a part of their system, especially now that we have all this learning loss and these kids that just couldn't get a tutor."