Germantown, Tennessee--May 6, 2020--Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD), like districts across the country, closed schools in Spring 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tennessee Department of Education (TN DOE) quickly published a School Closure Toolkit for Districts: Academics and Instruction, which provides recommendations for teaching and learning during school closures. It recommends that, “Considerations for learning activities that are based upon content and skills already experienced by students may be most appropriate at this time given the anxiousness that many students and adults are facing.” Accordingly, GMSD has provided students with opportunities for review and has not proceeded with new content instruction during school closures.
GMSD is concerned that missed content and skills from the 2019-2020 school year, compounded by expected learning loss during school closures, will have a profound impact on student progress and achievement. The district is therefore in the process of planning remediation, modified curricula, and interventions for Fall 2020 and are also preparing for the possibility of continued remote instruction or the need to use a “blended” online and in-person learning model.
GMSD has partnered with Hanover Research (Hanover) to predict the extent of probable learning loss caused by COVID-19 school closures using quantitative analysis. The Learning Loss Projector models historical trends in learning loss associated with summer breaks and estimates expected learning loss from the winter of the 2019-20 school year to the fall of the 2020-21 school year, using current- and past-academic year benchmark assessment data. This Learning Loss Projector will display results both in aggregate form, by grade level, and by student group (e.g., EL status, disability status, gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic disadvantage status, etc.). This analysis will support GMSD in tailoring reopening plans to expected achievement levels, allocating staff and resources based on probable academic needs, and planning for multiple reopening scenarios.