By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been nearly year since learning left the classroom and went remote in response to the pandemic. The inconsistency since has caused a variety of issues. Now, dozens of Colorado school districts and organizations are coming together to make sure students catch up after an inconsistent school year.

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It’s hard to imagine summer in the middle of a cold front, but the Colorado Education Initiative is looking ahead and asking the state to consider summer recovery for students.

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“We released a letter about summer which may have been on the coldest day of the year,” said Colorado Education Initiative President and CEO, Rebecca Holmes. “Kids and families have really been harmed and are struggling in the face of school disruption and job loss and all of the public health concerns.”

Holmes says a letter sent to Gov. Jared Polis asks him to address learning loss due to COVID-19 and focus on overall child development and equality.

“We know that there are new resources because of relief dollars that can be untapped and support families and schools and districts this summer,” said Holmes. “We know that racial lines, demographic lines, income lines, school disruptions of 2020, and the way the virus has played out just simply haven’t impacted everyone equally. It’s a call on our state leaders to prioritize resources toward kids that have been the most impacted.”

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(credit: CBS)

Holmes says Colorado Education Initiative research suggests elementary-aged kids and high schoolers were most impacted by remote learning and should be prioritized.

“This summer is a really important lever in getting kids back to exciting, adventurous, passionate experiences that remind them how much they love learning,” Holmes said.

CBS4 reached out to Polis. A spokesperson released a statement:

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“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on student learning, especially for students who are the furthest behind. Governor Polis is focused on working with state agency leaders, educators, communities, and the General Assembly to invest in our students and in programs that work to close persistent equity gaps that not only emerged during 2020, but have perpetuated across the state for decades. It is critical that leaders at every level, whether in school districts, local, state, and federal government, remain focused on ensuring that our students are given every opportunity to recover from the learning loss that COVID-19 has caused.”

Andrea Flores