Kindergarten in the time of COVID-19
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A celebration of the end of the school year at Escalante-Biggs Academy
Julio Sandoval/RMPBS

As an unusual school year wraps up, educators are mapping out an uncertain fall semester while considering the impact several months of remote learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic had on students.

We talked with Escalante-Biggs Academy principal Eric Love about the impacts the pandemic has had on some of the youngest learners: kindergartners.

Kindergarten in the time of COVID-19
Colorado Voices

Kindergarten in the time of COVID-19

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Denver kindergartners say goodbye for the summer after a school year like none other.

Escalante-Biggs Academy is a Denver public school focused on early childhood education.

“I would definitely say the impact that has suffered the most is the social aspect of kindergarten,” Love said. “I work in the far northeast area within Denver Public Schools and so my community has a lot of black and brown students. So that social aspect is so very important to our community.”

The principal said that the kindergartners would often spend their time on video calls with classmates talking about how much they missed each other and asking when they could be together again.

“So much of kindergarten is about being with your friends, and learning how to work with each other, and learning how to get along, and all of those things that you can try to imitate virtually but it’s definitely not the same as human contact,” Love said. “I feel like that has really taken a toll for a lot of our kiddos.”

“That is something that we’re really going to have to figure out. How do we really fill in that gap? Because the way that we’re looking at education right now is in a different format than we’ve ever looked at it before. We are really looking at, how do we redesign education for our kiddos?” he said.

The school district is considering a number of potential options for returning to school in the fall that include combinations of in-person instruction and remote learning. The district is asking parents to weigh in on those options by June 12.

Love said it’s too early to know what kindergarten will look like for his students next year.

“We’re living in a very challenging time, but it’s also a very creative time,” Love said. “So many of the systems we have built traditionally in school around engagement and around kids and parent involvement ... we built those systems around in-person learning opportunities. And now we’re having to really rethink what those systems look like.”

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