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A Look Back at Catching Up--Students and Teachers Discuss Remediation Period

Students make use of remediation time. (Photo by Emily Southern)

By Emily Southern--Eagle Staff Writer

During the pandemic, administration noticed many students fell behind due to out of school instruction. In order to combat this drawback, once students returned to fully in-person learning this past spring, they added a remediation period.

“VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) requires each school division to develop a plan to address learning loss and gaps in student achievement. Remediation period is one of our strategies to address this requirement,” Principal Jon Crutchfield explained.

The remediation period is the last half hour of every class on Tuesdays.

Teachers are supposed to stop teaching

and give students some time to make up their work.

Crutchfield had high hopes for this program; however, some feel it isn’t properly put to use.

“In past years, most of my teachers would just use this time period to continue on with their lesson” Senior Lindsay Smith stated.

Smith isn’t alone in this predicament.

“Some of my teachers will teach through the period; some give the remediation period and others continue with the class,”Junior Ashlynn Haigler added.

Jennifer Bennett, AP/DE chemistry and physics teacher, does give the allotted time for remediation period and also gives extra days for students to complete work and missing tasks.

”On [remediation] days I have students that need to make-up work. I also give intermittent days for make-up throughout the semester,” Bennett said.

Many teachers have found the remediation period useful for students to catch up on work they missed.

“It is helpful for teachers because it gives us a block of time when we can actually work with our students to assist them in getting caught up, “said CTE Teacher Marsha Lopez. "Many of us have obligations before and after school which prevent us from using that time to help [students], so having this remediation time set aside during the school day is beneficial to us as well as the students."

Even teachers at the Franklin Center have remediation period. (Photo by Emma Duncan)

This debate has two sides, though. If students do not have any make-up work to do then they sit there doing nothing.

“I either study, work on projects due, or [watch] Netflix if I don’t have anything to do," Haigler shared.

Many students and teachers feel the same way about this situation.

"At times, when there is no make-up for the students, it does seem like a waste of time,” Bennett stated.

Regardless of what side one believes in, remediation period is supposed to address learning loss. Teachers are supposed to stop teaching and provide students with instruction and practice in areas of weakness from the last two years worth of content. According to administration, one measure of the plan's success would be comparing students' grades.

“Unfortunately, I have not seen any benefit from the remediation period with my selected teachers. I feel that it would be beneficial if my teachers consistently used the period to review, rather than to keep teaching,” Smith said.

However, Lopez has noticed an academic benefit.

“The main benefit for my students is that [remediation periods] have allowed them time to do make-up work and get caught up when they get behind, which definitely helps improve their grades,” Lopez stated.

The remediation period was designed to be a helping hand offering students an opportunity during their day to get back on track. For some, that has happened but the results are mixed.

“Remediation period will remain a part of our schedule for the future,” Crutchfield shared.

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