INTERSESSION: NASD initiative tackles learning loss amid COVID pandemic

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

NATCHEZ — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Natchez Adams School District is taking proactive measures to tackle learning loss, improve test scores and accommodate accelerated learners.

More than 300 students made an early return to school from winter break for an “intercession period” before all other students return on Jan. 10, said NASD Public Engagement Coordinator Tony Fields.

Some students received extra help on objectives taught during the first semester of school and some advanced students received individualized instruction, Deputy Superintendent Zandra McDonald-Green said.

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The district’s campuses this week are empty for all but McLaurin and Morgantown. All elementary students taking part in the intercession are at McLaurin Elementary School while middle and high school students are at Morgantown Middle School. Busses pick up and drop off the students taking part in the program and they are served both breakfast and lunch as they normally would receive in a school day. However, the sessions only last from 8 a.m. until noon each day.

While the intercession ends this week, the district’s extra effort to help students does not stop there, McDonald-Green said. In December, the district kicked off an after-school tutoring program for both remediation and enrichment. This program takes place for approximately an hour and 45 minutes after school two days each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, McDonald-Green said.

During these sessions, some students again receive targeted assistance and homework assistance, she said. Busses take students enrolled in after-school tutoring to their assigned location and return them home when the program ends, she said.

“The intersessions and after-school tutoring are part of our ‘safe return’ initiative, where we’ve created programs to help students both with accelerated learning and those who’ve had learning loss due to the pandemic,” McDonald-Green said.

A second intersession period is also scheduled to take place during the spring semester in March, she said.