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Test results suggest GCSS has closed the COVID learning loss gap

Winter testing cycle shows higher than pre-pandemic scores

February 28, 2022

Greensboro, Ga.—The results of the Greene County School System’s winter NWEA testing show that students are demonstrating achievement at higher levels than prior to the pandemic, suggesting that the district has successfully closed the COVID-19 learning loss gap for primary and middle school students.

The NWEA MAP, which stands for Measures of Academic Progress, is a nationally-normed assessment taken by GCSS students three times each school year. The winter testing takes place in January and serves as a mid-year checkpoint of how students are performing in subject area knowledge and on individual progress goals.

All students in grades Kindergarten-8th take the NWEA MAP, and the results of the January testing cycle can be used to predict students’ performance on the Georgia Milestones, which is state-mandated, end-of-year testing that takes place in May.

This year’s winter test results showed substantive improvement for all grades, with the strongest levels of improvement at the primary level. Of the Kindergarten students who attended Pre-K, 75% are above grade level in Math and 67% are above grade level in reading. In math, 85% or more of all students in grades K-4 are on or above grade level, while an average of 74% of students in those grades are on or above grade level in reading.

At the middle school level in grades 4-7, students’ reading and math scores showed an overall average increase of 5% growth as compared to the 2019 Georgia Milestones, which is the most recent pre-pandemic standardized test that can be used for comparison.

According to these results, the percentages of students predicted to score on grade level or above on the upcoming Georgia Milestones in May is significantly higher than 2019.

“These substantial improvements reflect structural changes and investments in staff, as well as improved processes and instruction,” said Dr. Chris Houston, Superintendent. “I would like to thank our teachers and administrators, who have worked tirelessly to implement recovery strategies such as extra learning time in the form of summer school, mid-year intersessions, and afterschool programs, as well as targeted, small-group instruction and countless other opportunities for remediation.”

“I also thank our students’ parents for their continued support, encouragement, and involvement,” Superintendent Houston continued. “I congratulate your families on these excellent test results and encourage all of you to finish the year strong.”