DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After a year of in-person and virtual learning experiences, school districts across Ohio are working to ensure students are up to speed this school year.
“I mean, at the beginning of any school year it’s important to take time and acclimate students to the new learning environment,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association. That’s more important now than ever before.”
In the Miami Valley, Dayton Public Schools is just one district working to make up for time spent outside of school walls during the pandemic.
David Romick, president of the Dayton Education Association, said the district has already put measures in place to ensure students of all ages are up to pace academically.
“Particularly at the primary grades — one, two and three — we are looking at a dual teaching model, where we’ll have two teachers in every classroom,” he said. “That should one, reduce class size and get more individualized attention to those kids. In addition, we have reading and math specialists [that have] been put in place in schools.“
DiMauro said a strategic plan has been in place to launch similar programs the state for all grade levels. That plan, he said will focus holistically on student health for success.
“So academic learning is one component of that. Social emotional learning is another component of that,” he said.
In some districts that will mean investing more funds in mental health counselors who will work to help students achieve personal and academic success. And with many learning benchmarks back in place this school year, Romick said that comprehensive support will be critically important.
“So, [it won’t be] particularly more lenient, but we will use those benchmarks to create data that will drive our instruction, meet the kids where they are, and take them from there and then hopefully make steps to get them back where they need to be.”
DiMauro said the OEA is also planning to invest in students by investing in the needs of their educators, working to ensure they feel supported. He’s also encouraging parents to talk openly to teachers about their children’s progress as well as potential concerns.