My son has attended our neighborhood school since KG. We realize that Covid had some real interruptions in learning for everyone. But I have become appalled at how little of the basics of reading, writing and math has been a focus at our school over the years. My child still does not demonstrate correct use of English conventions. He has never been taught grammar, there has never been any spelling (that we know of) and he uses little to no punctuation.
The entire first half of his 4th grade year (covid) was online and was, for the most part, a waste of time. His original teacher did not ever have the kids do paper and pencil tasks. Any online assignment that was turned in was never seen again. So no feedback on learning or lack thereof, ever occurred. There were a number of teacher changes and the one we ended up with for the last half of the year was great. She really rose to the occasion and motivated the kids as best she could. But he is now so far behind, I am truly concerned about how BVSD or my son will make up for all these losses to be ready for middle school in one year.
My request, though it may be unpopular, is that we need to reinstate some kind of homework to get kids caught up. I don’t think it needs to be more than 15-30 minutes per night. My son is not a special needs student, and he has weathered the stress of the covid situation without symptoms of mental health difficulties. But he, and I suspect many, need serious academic support to make up for both the lost year, and in our situation, for the years prior to covid, when he was somehow able to coast through despite not having the basic foundations down. And this homework needs to be on paper and pencil - NOT on the chrome book. There needs to be accountability that kids will fix their mistakes if they do something wrong. So kids need feedback on their mistakes so they can demonstrate actual learning.
Also, my request is that use of chrome books in the school day be very intentional and not the default option for learning. It’s been a bit worrying to see how addicted kids have become to screen time of any kind.