Since mid-March of 2020 when coronavirus-caused school closures began, the quality and responsiveness of the remote learning implemented by Catholic school leaders has been unrivaled. Within the educational marketplace, Catholic schools have once again demonstrated the acuity, creativity, nimbleness, and responsiveness that are characteristic of the educational product they provide.
Despite this, Catholic schools will continue to face extraordinary challenges during upcoming school year 2020-2021. By this early fall, lost classroom time and the “COVID slide” will have already compounded learning gaps, which will have been made even wider by the so-called “summer slide.” Among primary grade, special education, and economically disadvantaged students, these gaps and their residual and ongoing effects will become – if they are not arrested now – even more profound and damaging.
Due to COVID-19, many students will be experiencing much greater-than-normal learning gaps in Math, Reading, and Writing. If their educational integrity is to be maintained, then Catholic schools will be compelled to narrow these gaps and these gaps’ effects. This compulsion begets two additional compulsions: first, Catholic schools will be required to remap their curricula and, second, Catholic school teachers will be required to utilize differentiated instruction.