As students return to school for in-person learning, many for the first time in over a year, Milford School District is taking steps to meet learning loss after so many months of virtual and hybrid learning.
“We are continuing to prioritize instructional time with our commitment to in-person learning for the academic year,” Bridget Amory, Director of Student Learning, said. “We have a systematic assessment plan to assist us in continually monitoring and tracking student learning to ensure we adjust our instruction according to student need. We will continue to offer additional support through our designated instructional intervention times as well as through after school tutoring supports. We are optimistic that with the perseverance of our teaching staff and the resiliency of our students and families, we will be able to assist our students in overcoming any learning losses and/or academic challenges associated with the past 18 months. We are committed to providing this level of support on an ongoing basis to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community.”
The district is also aware that some students may be dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, loss of loved ones due to COVID-19 and fear of the unknown. As a result, the district has put significant resources in place to assist students who may be struggling mentally.
“From our summer programming to after school tutoring and partnerships with our local childcare facilities and outside agencies, we are committed to working to support our students in every way possible,” Dr. Amory said. “We have increased student access to school counselors, mental health professionals and social workers through partnerships and the addition of staff. We have additionally added teaching and learning materials specifically tailored to supporting students’ social and emotional well-being into our schools.”
Dr. Amory stated that the district is in its third year of a new English and Language Arts curriculum across all grade levels. They are hoping to be able to track growth and progress with the new curriculum in more detail now that students have returned to learning in person. In addition, the district is in their first year of implementing a new elementary math curriculum.
“This program includes a lot of hands-on learning opportunities which we know our students are excited about,” Dr. Amory said. “Additionally, the program includes a large amount of real-life math applications which we believe will serve as a strong foundation for our students to apply math concepts into their everyday lives. We are continuing to pilot secondary math materials in grades 6 through 12 with the intent to adopt and implement for the 2022-23 academic year.”
Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent, stated that the district has their highest enrollment ever with 4,426 students and they expect that number to rapidly increase with the tremendous housing growth already underway and planned within district boundaries.
“Last school year, we had an overall September 30th unit count enrollment of 4,267,” Dr. Dickerson said. “The anticipated student growth has started to become a reality and is most prominently being seen in growing enrollments on the secondary campus, at Milford Central Academy and Milford High School. Milford Central Academy’s September 30th unit count last school year was 1,055 students and current enrollment has grown to 1,129 students. Similarly, Milford High School’s September 30th unit count enrollment last school year was 1,130 students and presently their enrollment is just over 1,200 students. We have been experiencing an average enrollment growth rate of 1.68 percent the past several years. However, we are well above that rate for this coming school year.”
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