Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

We’ve reflected this week on some of the challenges students have encountered in the first broad rollout of remote, online testing with College Board’s AP testing. We’ve also read with interest this great piece in the NYTimes on how students are adapting to remote learning. Some interesting thoughts from students quoted in the piece on challenges adapting to the new routine:

  • I did not realize that I took my routine and school day for granted until now.
  • I also find it very hard to find an ‘escape’ from school. Since it all takes place at my home, de-stressing has become more difficult because I feel like school is there with me the entire day.
  • It’s easier for me to get distracted and be lazy with my work, so I’m starting to hate the daily mundanity of distance learning.
  • Far more distractions — my pet and the availability of food all the time, to name a few — abound as I try to remain engaged in classes and complete assignments. For the most part I am on task, but some of the very same distractions I deal with in school, such as receiving texts from friends or my phone serving as a distraction in and of itself — seem much harder to resist at home.

We’re also hearing that students are feeling increased academic stress and need for rigorous instruction:

  • As a junior, I have been very stressed about how the rest of the school year will pan out. Constant thoughts running through my head are, “When am I going to take the SAT? How harshly are AP exams going to be graded now? What are colleges going to do for admissions next year?” All of these questions are constant thoughts that most teenagers my age are thinking about right now.
  • The work that we are being provided with now is only supplementary, which does not help students stay motivated to get their work completed. Teachers are doing the best they can but the ones who truly care about their students’ mental health and education are putting in extra time just to help.

All these quotes reflect key elements in what we’ve shared with you in the past weeks on social-emotional learning, executive functioning, and learning loss; they are already realities for students. We’re working to support our students in building routines and systems to create the space for learning while also providing rigorous, personalized academic content for our students.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO