LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s back to school in Longmeadow on Tuesday, but students all across the country are still working to make up lost learning time during the pandemic.

28,000 students across the district are set to start school in Longmeadow on Monday. A study released this year from Harvard University shows students here and across the country are still working to catch up after COVID-19 upended their classes in 2020 and 2021.

According to the study, the average U.S. Public School student in grades three through eight lost the equivalent of a half year of learning in math and a quarter of a year in reading.

Communities with a higher COVID-19 death rate and adult depression and anxiety rates directly correlated to more learning loss. New Haven, CT for example, highlighted as an extreme example in death rate, fell behind by 1.5 years in math.

“Prior to the pandemic, there was still a gap between students on where they performed. But the gap increased. So continuing to put the academic and behavioral supports in place for our older students to close those gaps that they continue to have will really help them achieve the most that they can,” said Stefania Raschilla, the Superintendent of West Springfield Public Schools.

Learning loss was smaller in communities with high voter turnout and census response rates, which are indicators of “institutional trust.”

On Monday, our state secretary of education was in West Springfield and talked about the path to recovery, outlining his administration’s strategy of stabilizing, healing, and transforming.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.