Schools are now grappling with how best to regain lost ground in literacy after the pandemic disruptions yet too few school districts have a mechanism in place to identify and help children before they fall behind. In a majority of cases, there is no systematic identification until third grade, by which time successful remediation is more difficult and more costly.
While there are no easy fixes, district leaders and administrators can use the experience as an opportunity to improve their schools’ literacy instruction. For schools that are trying to regain lost ground in reading or that simply wish to safeguard against future disruptions, our new guide outlines how schools can allocate the right resources for early identification and prevention.
When we think about assessing and improving literacy and best practices in the classroom, developing a school-wide or district-wide plan for professional development is also key for driving consistency and boosting student outcomes consistently and comprehensively.
The 2020-2021 school year was an extreme test of our education infrastructure. It exposed vulnerabilities both in school and at home for many teachers and students. As we continue to recover from disrupted learning and reconcile declines in reading achievement, we have an opportunity to innovate within our schools and upgrade the way we deliver literacy instruction.