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Can We Make Learning Loss a Thing of the Past?

Learning disruptions didn’t stop with the first waves of COVID-19. More than one million of the country’s 50 million public school students were affected by district-wide shutdowns in the first week of January 2022. But at many online schools across the country, it was learning as usual. This year, online students continue to make educational gains in courses just as they did during prior school years, and online schools continued to see increases in test scores, attendance, and graduation rates.

Test Score Gains

In contrast to the national trends of learning loss in math and reading during the COVID pandemic, NWEA’s MAP Growth study shows that K12-powered students made gains in crucial academic areas. In fact, these students reported lower learning loss rates than those reported in national studies. In some cases, students enrolled in K12-powered schools actually experienced learning gains.

More specifically, the percentage point difference between NWEA’s national sample and Stride is particularly jarring with differences between the two groups ranging from 7.8 to 27.7 percentage points in mathematics and 1.7 to 12.7 percentage points in reading. This means that online schools powered by K12 have not only been more successful in reducing learning loss during the pandemic, but they are also more successful in helping students maintain and even make learning gains.

Attendance Increases

K12-powered students haven’t missed a beat when it comes to attendance, which is key to helping prevent the dual challenges of summer learning loss and pandemic learning loss. With K12-powered online schools, attendance rate show a marked increase. In fact, schools powered by K12 achieved a student attendance rate exceeding 97%. Through regular attendance, students remain engaged in their subjects—and keeping students engaged is vital to their academic success.

Graduation Rates

Online school graduates are just as successful as graduates from traditional brick-and-mortar schools. In fact, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that online students are more likely to graduate from high school than their traditional counterparts. Graduation rates are on the rise, with a more than 15 percentage point improvement since 2019.

The Formula for Addressing Learning Loss

Through various full-time, part-time, and supplemental schooling options, K12-powered schools are tackling learning loss head-on. Students may attend full-time online classes to avoid the risk of school shutdowns and associated learning loss, or they can enroll part-time to supplement their learning while their brick-and-mortar school is closed. Many parents also continue supplementing their student’s conventional or homeschool education with engaging online classes.

To help students continue to make great strides, K12-powered schools offer:

  • Consistent student engagement through regularly scheduled online classes;
  • Strong onboarding to help students and families adjust to the online learning environment;
  • Ongoing support through active school and national communities;
  • Proactive intervention to help students who fall behind

Learning loss isn’t an unavoidable phenomenon. Rather, it’s something that families and schools can help prevent by using the key ingredients above.

Every student deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Learning loss doesn’t have to disrupt this goal.

For more information about K12’s commitment to learning loss prevention, visit

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Can We Make Learning Loss a Thing of the Past?

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