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At Futures Academy, we are constantly researching and sharing relevant topics that affect our students and families. We also have guest bloggers sharing their research and best practices. Read our blogs to learn more! 

The Impact Of COVID On K-12 Education

Covid Education Disruption Image

Article contributed by guest author, Dr. Autumn Willinger. 

Across the world the COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect in multiple areas: economic, health, social, academic and more. The face of education has been radically changed during the past 18 months. In addition to teachers and school administrators feeling the impact of COVID 19, the challenges to students and their families have been extraordinary. Many students missed a significant amount of instructional time and found it difficult to participate in an online learning environment. Due to school closures, teachers and school administrators scrambled to deliver curriculum to students using a variety of new methods. Many universities and colleges had been utilizing online teaching methods, but online learning was not typically used for students in grades K-12.  

As districts closed across the US, K-12 school employees had to quickly find software and tools to provide education for their students while simultaneously training teachers, many of whom had little familiarity with online education (Green, 2021). More than half of elementary, middle and high school teachers said the pandemic resulted in a “significant” learning loss for students, both academically and in their social-emotional progress. Almost all educators (more than 97%) reported seeing some learning loss in their students over the past year when compared with children in previous years. Over half of the teachers surveyed estimated their students are behind by more than three months in their social-emotional progress. Some teachers suggested these setbacks could be addressed by adding summer sessions or bringing teacher’s aides into the classroom for one-on-one or small group instruction. Still, nearly one-third expected more students will need to repeat a grade (Dickler, 2021). 

In addition to the interruption of learning, the outbreak of COVID-19 affected the lives of all sections of society as people were asked to self-quarantine in their homes to prevent the spread of the virus. The lockdown had serious implications on mental health, resulting in psychological problems including frustration, stress, and depression (Chaturvedi, Vishwakarma and Singh, 2020). Perhaps your family continues to feel the effects of COVID 19 on your child’s education and social development. Your child may have fallen behind academically and feel overwhelmed at the idea of catching up or relearning key educational concepts. Social isolation has perhaps led to your child feeling incapable of managing social interactions in the way they did prior to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The idea of returning to a large classroom filled with students of a wide variety of learning styles and levels does not inspire a desire to return to a traditional learning environment. 

Here at Futures Academy, we are thrilled to return to fully face to face learning this past summer of 2020 while continuing to offer online courses for students who wish to continue their remote learning. Students, families, and Futures team members have the opportunity to learn and grow together both academically and socially after so much time apart. We are working diligently to support students in getting back into their academics while maintaining all mandated safety protocols. Our 1:1 classroom style provides appropriate social distancing between students and their teachers while still allowing for that face-to-face interaction. Students who fell behind academically can utilize our personalized learning opportunities to pinpoint areas in which extra support is needed. Our guided study teachers continue to provide a supportive space for study and homework completion, encouraging students to complete their work in a way that is conducive to meaningful and sustained learning. Students have loved the opportunity to interact with one another in the many on and off campus activities provided by Futures Academy. We are committed to providing regular opportunities for students and families to connect with old and new friends and sustain those personal connections which we have learned are so incredibly important.  

If you are in the process of deciding on the best academic option for your child, we are here to help. Whether your child needs to remediate a subject or two that fell off during the pandemic or an entire year’s worth of courses, we can support a wide variety of learners with personalized academic plans and highly flexible schedules. Students at Futures Academy can become leaders on our smaller-sized campuses with teachers who truly get to know them. Administrators are always available to both students and families for check-in, discussions and pivots as needed. We invite you to join us at our Mid Semester Transfer Open House to learn more or you may also choose to simply pay us a visit. We are happy to have a discussion with you and your child and see if a Futures Academy education may be what is needed to support your child’s continued success.  


Dickler, J. (2021). Virtual school resulted in ‘significant’ academic learning loss, study  
finds. Retrieved from Learning loss from virtual school due to Covid is significant (cnbc.com). 

Green, A. (2021). How is COVID-19 impacting education? Retrieved from How is COVID-19 impacting education? - Education and Human Development (tamu.edu) 

Chaturvedi, K.,  Vishwakarma, D. and Singh, N. (2020). COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental health of students: A survey. Retrieved from COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental health of students: A survey - PubMed (nih.gov). 


About the author: Dr. Autumn Willinger, Head of School at Futures, Newport Beach

I come to the Newport Beach campus with over 20 years of experience in teaching and managing campuses. I have worked  in middle and high school settings as Teacher, Curriculum Developer, Department Chair, Dean of Students and Assistant Head of  School. A lifelong learner, I have a Bachelor’s in Studio Art, Master’s degrees in both Education and Information Science, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

I am a mother to two adult sons and in my free time am an avid reader and pickleball player. I am thrilled to be at the Newport Beach campus and look forward to getting to know students and families during the school year.