Can Online School Close the COVID Learning Gap?

Connections Academy Student

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every part of our lives, including our children’s education. School closings due to COVID required most public school districts to implement virtual school as an emergency measure. While teachers and students did their best to make the arrangement work, many students fell behind. And that has caused a so-called COVID learning gap. 

Education experts agree that reversing COVID learning loss will require educators to embrace everything from flexibility to focused intervention. But parents can play an important role as well. And that can begin by choosing an online public school for your child. 

Why Would Online School Help COVID Learning Loss? 

To understand how we can close the COVID learning gap, it’s important to understand that the gap wasn’t caused by virtual learning. It was caused by what some experts call unfinished learning. Specifically, the general disruptions of the pandemic, the difficulties that in-person schools faced when converting to an emergency teaching format, and a loss of student support networks caused many students to tune out or simply not attend class. 

In other words, the COVID school closures led to a multitude of issues unrelated to the nature of online learning. When an online school is specifically designed by education experts, the experience is very different from what in-person schools were able to provide virtually. In fact, a true online school has a lot of benefits. And it’s those benefits that can help with closing the learning gap. 

Top Ways Online School Is Helping Students Close the COVID Learning Gap

If your child fell behind when schools were closed due to COVID, you’ve likely considered alternatives to public school. Even if your child’s academic performance remained consistent during the pandemic, you may be worried about future disruptions or are seeking a school that can help your child go even further. Online school can be the answer—and they’re more accessible than you might think. 

For example, the online school, Connections Academy is a public school, which means it’s tuition-free and conforms to state education guidelines. But unlike in-person public schools that went virtual as an emergency measure, online-only public schools were designed by educational experts to be online from the beginning. In fact, Connections Academy has been teaching students online for over 20 years and is a national leader in virtual education. 

Of course, there are some differences between traditional in-person school and online school. And it’s those differences that can help students and parents with closing the learning gap. Specifically, online schools like Connections Academy provide: 

  1. Consistent Learning In an online-only school, there is little worry that external events like a pandemic will shut the school down or even disrupt the daily process of learning. Regaining consistency—and confidence that there won’t be future disruptions—can help students get back on track.   
  2. Tailored Learning  Students in an online school like Connections Academy don’t all follow the same exact learning schedule. Instead, each student has a lot more flexibility, which allows them to adopt a schedule that works best for their learning style and needs. If they need more time on math, they can find it. If they need more breaks to keep their focus high, they can take them. This level of flexibility can be invaluable to students working to catch up or get ahead in their education.  
  3. Parental Involvement  One of the biggest advantages of online school is the active role parents can play in their child’s education. By serving as their child’s learning coach, parents can see where their child is struggling and where they’re excelling. This allows parents to help their child adjust learning schedules/habits and find solutions before a small issue becomes a big one. For parents who are worried about COVID learning loss, more involvement can be the key to helping their child succeed in the future.
  4. Strong Support  At Connections Academy, everything is backed by Pearson, the world’s learning company. The curriculum is designed by education experts to be online, teachers are specially trained for the needs of online learning and both students and parents can find plenty of support from teachers, counselors and administrators. The result is a school experience that can be highly engaging, helping students overcome challenges and reach their goals. 

The disruptions of the pandemic left a lot of students a few steps behind. Fortunately, with the right help, COVID learning loss can be nothing more than a temporary setback. For many students, online school can be just the help they need. Learn more about the workings of online school in our article “Parents Bust the Top 5 Virtual School Myths.” 

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