After 18 months of distance and hybrid instruction, you may be concerned about whether your student can master this year’s grade level.
Students learn differently. Not all students were able to fully engage in learning because they had trouble adjusting to online learning. Some experienced disruptions or trauma in their lives due to the pandemic. Others found that self-paced online learning worked well for them. Many students gained valuable technology and communications skills.
Regardless of the strengths and needs each student brings to class, we believe they can all meet high expectations. Our teachers support them every step of the way.
Highline teachers are committed to a strategy called grade-appropriate learning, which prioritizes content for the current grade level and reviews skills from previous grades only when students need them to learn current grade-level work. Teachers give grade-level assignments and help students relearn the skills that they need to be successful at this year’s grade level, rather than reteaching everything from last year.
Think of the “Previously on...” intros that play before new episodes of a television drama. You won’t get as much of the backstory as you would if you binge-watched the past few seasons, but you get enough to keep up with the story.
Another, more traditional strategy used to get students caught up is called remediation. This strategy focuses on the content and standards from previous grades. It requires teachers to drill students on isolated skills and can get in the way of students learning this year's content.
Research shows grade-appropriate learning is the best way to help students stay on track for grade-level learning.
In the Classroom
Teachers at McMicken Heights Elementary have used the grade-appropriate learning strategy for several years, even before the pandemic started. Third-grade teacher Annie Nguyen uses this strategy daily, across all subject areas. Watch this video to see how she uses grade-appropriate learning to capitalize on her student's strengths and support students when they need it the most.
Supporting Students at Home
Families are our student's first teachers. Here are resources you can use to support your student.
Review this series of family guides by grade level to help you understand what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
Do a gut-check.
Use his readiness roadmap tool to get a “gut-check” from home and learn how your child is doing on key skills.
Review current work.
Compare the assignments your child brings home with those identified as “strongly aligned” in this student work library.