CHERRY HILL, N.J. - To say the past year and a half has been a challenge may be a bit of an understatement. But, it was especially tough for kids, who had to adapt to a whole new way of doing school. Now, there’s concern they may have had some learning loss.
Ava Drumheller, of Cherry Hill, is already checking off her back-to-school list.
"Hoping we’re not jinxing ourselves and anything will change," mom Alison Drumheller remarked.
The parents and children say they’re ready for students to be back in the classroom full-time this fall, after a year and a half of remote and hybrid learning.
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"He was getting a lot of anxiety being stuck home and not playing with friends," Juan Canales explained.
Canales, a Cherry Hill resident, says he’s concerned that his children fell behind while sitting behind a computer screen.
"He just couldn’t focus enough by himself," Canales added.
"I think I learned more when I was in school," Carlos Canales stated.
At home, there was a disconnect.
"If there was confusion, it was really hard to get the teacher, because when you're in school, you can just raise your hand," Ava said.
"We definitely need to get back into the classroom," teacher Shannon Saldutti said.
Saldutti, a full-time special education teacher, says, during the height of the pandemic, she recognized that many children were in need of extra help. She launched a tutoring company called Foundations by Shannon and says immediately the calls came in.
"I posted all over social media and, from that, so many inquiries came in within the first couple of weeks," Saldutti described.
Saldutti says many parents have been anxious about the idea of lost learning. She says one way to get a child ready for the new school year is read to them often. Alison Drumheller says she credits her children’s teachers with positive, remote experiences and she’s not too worried.
"I’m confident they’ll make it up next year," Drumheller stated.