Summer tutors in high demand to make up for learning loss

“There's a huge, huge learning crisis right now"
Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 07:31:55-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Private tutors are in high demand to help children catch up before the new school year this fall.

“Do you want to read this first question and we'll see how you do?” A Sylvan Learning Tutor asks a student.

Sylvan Learning tutor helps student.

Inside Sylvan Learning in Williamsville some students are getting one-on-one tutoring, as many try to catch up from remote learning loss.

Monday marks the first official week of summer vacation for school students across Western New York.

Many families are hiring summer tutors to help children to catch up from what some are calling a “lost year” due to remote and hybrid learning that created one of the most difficult school years ever.

“There's a huge, huge learning crisis right now on our hands — not just here but across the country,” declared Christine Bosard, director of education for Sylvan.

Christine Bosard, director of education, Sylvan.

Bosard says over the last few weeks sylvan has had a big influx of parents calling for help.

“Everyone's questioning what do we do because it's not just re-mediating now — it’s bridging that gap and filling in what they need — the students need to make up what the missed,” explained Bosard.

Areas that students seem to be falling most behind in are math and reading.

“Absolutely, what you said Eileen — it's the reading and if they are having an issue with their reading development, then it really hurts them in every other content area,” responded Bosard.

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Christine Bosard, director of education, Sylvan.

Many Pre-K through second graders are struggling the most with reading — a skill sabotage for some students by virtual learning.

Reading needed for other important subjects such as social studies, science and math problems.

“So when you're rounding to the hundreds,” said Sylvan tutor working with a student on math.

“They lost — formative years,” remarked Nora Deakin.

Deakin is a private tutor for students in K through 5th grade.

Many of her students come from St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore.

Nora Deakin is a private tutor for students in K through 5th grade.

Deakin says too many young children lost kindergarten during the pandemic.

“It’s not that they're behind — it's just that you’re learning shapes, numbers, letters, sounds that's where you learn to read and write,” described Deakin.

One of Deakin's students is Katie Mayfield, 6, from Tonawanda. She’ll be heading into second grade this fall at St. John’s School.

Her mother, Karen Mayfield, says Katie has been struggling with reading and writing.

Katie Mayfield, 6, from Tonawanda.

“Basic letter sounds and spelling her words correctly. She tries to sound it out and struggles a little bit,” Mayfield noted.

Even though her school conducted full, in-person learning this year, Katie lost a lot of kindergartners during remote learning at the height of the pandemic last year.

“She lost a lot of what she needed to get ready for first grade,” replied Mayfield.

Karen Mayfield, says Katie has been struggling with reading and writing.

That's why Mayfield turned to Deakin for private tutoring that she will continue into the summer months.

“I think it's important that continuing through the summer, so that she doesn't regress and fall behind again to get her ready for second grade — not only will it help her but it will also her teacher as well,” Mayfield noted.

Mayfield says just in a couple of months her daughter is already benefiting.

“Based on her report card, between her second and the third marking period, there was a huge difference in her grading,” Mayfield remarked.

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Outside St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore.

Deakin offers St. John’s School families an hourly rate of $30. Those outside that school community pay $35.

Sylvan offers payment plans for families based a students learning needs.

But for families who might not be able to afford a private tutor this summer, there are tips to make sure children don't regress this summer.

Summer learning tips for families.

Deakin says make sure you have your child practice skills.

“The best thing you can do is just have them read, have them write, read to them,” listed Deakin.

The tutors say no matter what level your child is at — keep practicing those skills to prevent learning loss this summer.