Saturday, September 23, 2023

School Closures and Student Health: The damage goes far beyond learning loss, even three years later; NYC Parents Peeved by Virtual COVID-Era Back-to-School Conferences, and other C-Virus related stories

Photo: John Minchillo/Associated Press
WSJ: School Closures and Student Health:
The damage goes far beyond learning loss, even three years later.
By now a mountain of evidence shows that Covid school closures were a serious error that caused K-12 learning loss, but according to a report published Wednesday, that’s only the beginning. “Three years after the start of the pandemic,” it says, “Covid-19 is continuing to derail learning, but in more insidious and hidden ways.”
The report is the latest from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, or CRPE, which is warning this time about the poor state of student well-being. “More than 8 in 10 public schools reported stunted behavioral and social-emotional development in their students because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” it says, citing federal survey data. Nearly half of schools “reported an increase in threats of physical attacks among students.”
The rate of playing hooky is way up: “16 million students were chronically absent (i.e., missed more than 10% of school days) during the 2021-22 school year, twice as many as in previous years.” The share of students who reported missing five or more days in a month doubled to 10% between 2020 and 2023. “Students in schools that closed the longest were more likely to disengage from school, to drop out or stop attending school,” CRPE says.
Even students who have succeeded academically and gone to college weren’t unaffected. “The enforced isolation of the pandemic has delayed developmental milestones for many of our traditional-aged students, affecting their social development, emotional health, and cognitive readiness,” writes Joanne Vogel, vice president of student services at Arizona State University. “Incoming students are displaying behavior we might expect of younger adolescents.”
What does that mean in practice? “Difficulties managing their daily responsibilities, challenges resolving interpersonal conflicts, and troubling incidents of violence, vandalism, and even vigilantism,” she says. --->READ MORE HERE
NY POST: NYC parents peeved by virtual COVID-era back-to-school conferences:
New York City public schools are again pushing “virtual” parent-teacher conferences long after the pandemic — infuriating parents who ripped the remote meetings as impersonal and ineffective.
Parent-teacher conferences and curriculum-night events kicked off this week and will continue through September — but at least two parent-advisory groups are already balking and insisting on face-to-face confabs.
“It’s in the best interest of our schools to bring parents back to the building as much as they can,” said Danyela Souza Egorov, a Lower Manhattan mother and vice president of the Community Education Council for District 2, which covers most of Lower Manhattan.
The group passed a resolution last month calling for in-person options to be added to virtual ones.
CEC 3, which covers the Upper West Side, passed the same resolution on Wednesday.
The lack of in-person meetings is “a legacy of COVID — one more way parents are being kept away from our schools,” Egorov told The Post.
Parents across the city said the online meetings are counterproductive and that it’s time schools return to pre-pandemic practices.
“There is a complete disconnect when it’s virtual,” said Angelina Ojeda, a Queens parent of ninth-grade twins at the High School of Applied Communication in Long Island City. “We need to rebuild the face-to-face connections we lost during COVID.”
Parents also see where their tax dollars go when they visit schools, she added.
It took a visit to her girls’ middle school last year to understand a frighteningly steep staircase one daughter was afraid to use, and also call attention to a water bug problem they were telling her about.
The visits also give a chance to see how resources are used and the work created by students. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

COVID Cases Update: Map Reveals 9 States With Highest Positive Tests

How to get free Paxlovid in Massachusetts

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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