How are Bay Area students managing during COVID-19? School official gives winter progress report

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Part of Building a Better Bay Area means focusing on education. This school year has been interesting, to say the least, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Distance learning has been especially difficult for some young learners. So as we hit winter break, we wondered how progress has been this year, compared to previous school years, particularly for kids learning to read.

ABC7 News Anchor Ama Daetz checked in with Susan Lavelle, with Union School District in the South Bay, to find out if kids are keeping up or falling behind.

Lavelle says it's a bit of both.

"We have a group of kids who are completely engaged and making great progress," she said. "We have another group of kids who were behind, but are catching up because they're getting interventions, extra time with their teachers because we're worried about them."

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She says, unfortunately, there are some kids the district can't reach.

"And unfortunately, we have a small group of children who aren't growing because we can't reach them," she said. "And that's either due to internet connectivity issues or disengagement or maybe it's a younger sibling with older kids and mom and dad both have to work. They're essential workers and they're left on their own and they're just young enough to not be able to engage on their own."

Lavelle says teachers, aids and administrators are working really hard to reach those kids and get them back so they can see them as much as possible.
So there's still plenty of work to be done.

You can help your little reader over the break by taking part in some fun literacy activities. Lavelle shares her tips in the video clip above.

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