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Teachers worried students will fall further behind during summer break

In an average summer, kids can forget 25% of what they learned in school. After the pandemic saw historic failure rates, teachers are worried things may get worse.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Summer has arrived in the Carolinas as Friday, May 28 is the last day of school for several districts around Charlotte, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Union County Public Schools. 

While everyone's ready for some fun in the sun, experts are concerned about the negative impact of taking a few months off after a difficult year on students. A lot of teachers are worried that this year's "summer slide" could turn into a secondary "pandemic plummet." 

The pandemic has already been blamed for students' struggles. In February, CMS said nearly 38,000 of their students were failing at least one class. That's nearly double what it was before the pandemic. At the state level, North Carolina officials said they predicted more students will have to repeat a grade than at any other time in the past 100 years

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Let's connect the dots. 

In an average summer, students can forget up to 25% of what they learned in the school year. That's an even bigger concern after the pandemic saw a year of online and remote learning. Teachers in North Carolina estimate 75% of this year's third-graders aren't reading at a third-grade level. 

That means any backslide could put kids more than a year behind. That's partially why the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction required all districts to offer in-person summer school for students. 

RELATED: NC school districts offering summer programs to gain back some of the COVID-19 learning loss

Education experts say even just a month of in-person summer school can raise test schools in reading and math as students prepare for the new year. 

RELATED: Mecklenburg County will withhold millions from CMS once budget is approved

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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