Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, June 24, 2020, Page 3, Image 3

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Curtailing the COVID Learning Slide:
Tips for Parents This Summer
Your Turn
Sheena Elliott
Guest columnist
As the school year comes to a close
and families are now facing a different
summer than they originally planned,
educators are turning their attention to
helping students who need to catch up
lost academic ground before the school
bell rings or the video conferences start
in September.
School districts statewide should be
commended for quickly implementing
strategies to keep students learning re-
motely from home due to the public
health crisis. Educators across the state
came together to provide new ways to
connect with their students. As a teach-
er who is well-versed in online instruc-
tion, I applaud their efforts. However,
this quick pivot to distance learning --
commonly called emergency school -- is
completely different from a true full-
time online school, like Oregon Connec-
tions Academy, the school where I work.
More than 4,600 students have chosen
Oregon Connections Academy for their
education and experienced minimal in-
terruption throughout the COVID shut-
down since our school is designed for
virtual learning.
As we head into summer, educators
are worried many students who experi-
enced a disruption in their learning will
suffer from the “COVID slide.” Even
when there’s not a pandemic, parents
and educators are worried the “summer
slide”— when students lose academic
ground during the summer months —
and now learning loss is even more of a
In an average summer, students can
lose up to three months’ worth of learn-
ing in math or reading according to
NWEA, a Portland nonprofit testing or-
ganization. COVID learning losses were
about the same for literacy, but for
math, children often fell a full year be-
More importantly, at-risk students,
those with disabilities, English learners,
children who had difficulty accessing
digital equipment, and others are likely
to experience a greater effect from the
COVID learning gap, according to ex-
The COVID slide is unique not only
because students are facing social-
emotional challenges on top of the aca-
demic difficulties, but their families are
still navigating daily life with social dis-
tancing and other restrictions. Despite
the logistical complications, many dis-
tricts are providing summer learning
opportunities since they realize stu-
dents need scholastic support.
Although kids used to equate sum-
mer school with punishment, many of
these programs are now incorporating
fun activities designed to engage stu-
dents. Katie Brackenridge formerly with
the non-profit Partnership for Children
and Youth says, “Summer learning is the
sweet spot between summer school and
summer camp.
Parents can help ease the “COVID or
Summer” slide by allowing their stu-
dents to access supplemental curricu-
lum during the summer. Due to the Dis-
tance Learning for All Plan, many dis-
trict websites have suggested materials
to use. If parents give their students a
high level of personal control over their
learning activities it will increase their
level of motivation and independence.
Parents can continue learning over
the summer by having students practice
reading. Make reading fun for kids by
letting them pick out a fiction book to
read for at least 30 minutes a day. Par-
ents can trade off reading pages with
younger children, and set up a special
reading spot in a favorite chair. Local li-
braries may also have a summer reading
incentive program.
Writing is another important skill to
exercise over the summer. Parents
should be flexible when children are
finding something to write about. Per-
haps they’ll walk in the forest, listen to
music, or do yoga for a few days. Ask
them to write up to 10 statements about
what they learned from their experi-
Finally, have your child continue
their math studies. Math workbooks are
a good option because students can use
one from the class they just finished or
move up to a workbook for the class
they’re entering next fall. You can also
explore learning apps that incorporate
math games if your child learns better
with interactive lessons.
Distance education or virtual sum-
mer camp may not be ideal for every
student, however, I hope families find
ways for children to engage in learning
over the next couple of months, espe-
cially if they’ve slid back a little. I also
hope more teachers and families em-
brace technology to give children the ex-
tra academic support they need.
Alejandro Gibes de Gac, the head of a
summer learning program in Philadel-
phia, summarized the mission ahead
best: “I think between now and the day
schools reopen, we’ve got a unique but a
fleeting opportunity to demonstrate the
power of parent engagement to produce
learning outcomes,” he said. “And if we
do it on a large enough scale, we can
fundamentally change the education
system for the better, and good.”
Sheena Elliott is the Assistant Man-
ager of Special Education for Oregon
Connections Academy
Learning Resources
Oregon Open Learning Hub oercom- Hosted by the
State Education Department it includes
math lessons to virtual field trips.
Salem Public Library cityofsa-
vid19.aspx: Offering free e-books, au-
diobooks, streaming movies, and more,
all remotely. National Geographic na-
source-library/ From ancient history to
the future of space travel, Nat Geo has it
Wide Open School wideopen- Take a virtual field trip to
the moon or learn new dance moves and
everything in-between, hosted by the
non-profit, Common Sense Media.
ReadWriteThink http://www.readwri-
Continued from Page 1A
Salem-Keizer schools affected
Thursday’s ruling brought celebra-
tions and praise from local educators,
activists and politicians.
Reyna Lopez, executive director of
PCUN, a Marion County-based organi-
zation that advocates for farmworkers,
low-wage workers and Latinx families,
said those with PCUN were ecstatic.
“This was a source of stress for many
of our family members and friends,” she
said. “Today’s Supreme Court decision
was monumental, and such a testament
to the courageousness of DACA recipi-
ents and young immigrants in fighting
to create and defend DACA, and to con-
tinue pushing for protections for all.”
Oregon Department of Education Di-
rector Colt Gill said the decision was an
important step towards protecting Ore-
gon students, families and educators.
He said his department would redou-
ble their efforts at ensuring schools and
classrooms are safe, inclusive and wel-
come to all educators, students and
their families, regardless of race, ethnic-
ity or immigration status.
Officials with Salem-Keizer Public
Schools said the ruling allows them to
reaffirm their commitment to creating
safe and welcoming environments for
all of our students and staff, regardless
of where they were born.
“Our students, our educators, our
neighbors and our loved ones are
Dreamers, and their contributions in
Salem-Keizer cannot be understated,”
said district spokeswoman Lillian Go-
In a press conference with Causa
Oregon, an immigrant rights organiza-
tion, Juan Navarro said he and other
DACA recipients have been anxiously
awaiting the Supreme Court decision.
Navarro was born in Guadalajara,
Mexico, and moved to Oregon when he
was 3. He grew up in the Salem area.
Now 27, he attended Chemeketa Com-
munity College, received his bachelor’s
degree from Western Oregon University
and his master’s degree from Oregon
State University.
“I am blessed that I have DACA,” Na-
varro said. “I would not be here without
He said they needed to continue to
fight for DACA and for the 11 million un-
documented immigrants who don’t
qualify the program — like the parents
and families of hundreds of thousands
DACA recipients.
Navarro also said those fighting for
immigrant rights need to stand with
Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ com-
“We cannot be liberated until we all
are free,” he said.
Governor calls for action to end
Gov. Kate Brown speaks during the AP
Legislative Preview Day at the Oregon
State Capitol in Salem on Jan. 17, 2020.
Local residents gather during a rally to support immigration issues like DACA
(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TSP (Temporary Protected Status)
at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, on Nov. 12. MADELEINE COOK / STATESMAN
ties stronger,” she said.
Brown said the SCOTUS decision was
a victory but warned that more work
was needed to protect DACA recipients
and end bigotry.
“Oregon will always be a welcoming,
safe place for all,” she said. “Our 33-
year-old Sanctuary Law prevents Ore-
gon from enforcing federal immigration
law, and I will uphold this law and stand
with Oregonian Dreamers. We are at our
best when we focus on what we share in
common, not what divides us.”
She promised to stand with the un-
documented community and fight
against hate and bigoted attacks.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said DACA
recipients deserve the protections
promised to them by the federal govern-
ment. He called for the Senate to take
immediate action.
“Today’s victory is even more reason
for Congress to permanently protect
Dreamers from the threat of deporta-
tion,” Wyden said. “The House has vot-
ed. Now the Senate must too.”
Carmen Rubio, executive director of
the Latino Network, said she hopes the
decision brings “some stability” to DA-
CA recipients and their families.
She said the 29,000 DACA healthcare
workers in the United States have been
instrumental during the pandemic.
Causa Oregon Executive Director
Adriana Miranda said those fighting for
DACA celebrated the victory Thursday
with the millions of parents who came
to America with a dream and the prom-
ise of a better life for their children.
“This victory is theirs,” she tearfully
This is not the end, Miranda added.
“We have a lot more to achieve,” she
said, but, she and Lopez both echoed
the common rallying cry: Sí se puede —
Yes, we can.
he can — but whether the way his ad-
ministration went about terminating
the program was lawful.
In a 5-4 vote, the majority U.S. Su-
preme Court justices determined that
answer to be “no” and found the deci-
sion to terminate DACA was arbitrary
and capricious.
“For the reasons that follow, we con-
clude that the Acting Secretary did vio-
late the (Administrative Procedure
Act),” Chief Justice John Roberts said in
the majority opinion.
He added that the decision to rescind
DACA “must be vacated.”
Justice Clarence Thomas concurred
in part of the judgment and dissented in
He wrote that DACA was illegal from
the moment it was created under the
Obama administration in 2012.
Trump didn’t hold back in his assess-
ment of the court’s work, hitting hard at
a political angle.
“These horrible & politically charged
decisions coming out of the Supreme
Court are shotgun blasts into the face of
people that are proud to call themselves
Republicans or Conservatives. We need
more Justices or we will lose our 2nd
Amendment & everything else. Vote
Trump 2020!” he wrote on Twitter, ap-
parently including the LGBT ruling as
In a second tweet, Trump wrote, “Do
you get the impression that the Su-
preme Court doesn’t like me?”
The Associated Press contributed to
this report.
For questions, comments and news
tips, email reporter Whitney Wood-
worth at wmwoodworth@statesman-, call 503-910-6616 or follow
on Twitter @wmwoodworth.
Salem Area
Member SIPC
The U.S. Supreme Court case at hand
is actually three cases from California,
the District of Columbia and New York
that were argued together back in No-
The arguments dealt not with wheth-
er Trump can end DACA — most agree
Garry Falor CFP ®
South | 503-362-5439
West | 503-588-5426
Caitlin Davis CFP ®
Chip Hutchings
West | 503-585-1464
Lancaster | 503-585-4689
Jeff Davis
Tim Sparks
Mission | 503-363-0445
Commercial | 503-370-6159
Tyson Wooters
South | 503-362-5439
Keizer Area
Mario Montiel
Keizer | 503-393-8166
Justices split 5-4 on DACA vote
In a statement issued after the ruling,
Gov. Kate Brown lauded the action by
the court of protecting DACA recipients,
saying they embodied the American
“Oregon’s 12,000 valued Dreamers
serve in our military, work in our hospi-
tals, pay taxes and make our communi-
Michael Wooters
Surrounding Area
Your financial partner
throughout your life.
Bridgette Justis
Kelly Denney
Sublimity | 503-769-3180
Dallas | 503-623-2146
Tim Yount
David Eder
Silverton | 503-873-2454
Stayton | 503-769-4902