Research on Education Strategies to
Advance Recovery and Turnaround
Mitigating the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic through Curriculum-Based Approaches to Learning Acceleration in Grades K-2 in Chicago
Grades K-2 are considered formative years for developing literacy skills that are essential for subsequent achievement, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these students experienced major disruptions in schooling. To ensure strong literacy instruction in all classrooms, the Chicago Public Schools developed a comprehensive digital curriculum called “Skyline” to ensure all teachers had access to high-quality materials, and is providing a tiered system of professional learning (PL) to adopting schools and teachers around using the materials to support strong instructional practice.
This mixed-methods study examines the ongoing implementation of the Skyline+PL K-2 literacy curriculum to improve the quality of instruction, especially for students in priority groups whose learning was most disrupted by the shift to remote learning--Black and Latinx students in the communities with the highest economic hardship, English learners, and students who begin kindergarten with the fewest literacy skills. The study will document the degree to which literacy outcomes in grades K-2 changed in cohorts impacted by COVID-19 disruptions, examine the degree to which Skyline+PL resources are reaching K-2 priority learners, and whether students who experience Skyline are catching up to other students over time on a series of outcome measures. In addition, the study will examine how Skyline implementation is related to teachers’ instructional practices, and how teachers' perceptions of Skyline+PL shape their engagement with the resources. Finally, the study will assess the incremental costs and effects of different tiers of PL support.
The study team includes researchers from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research and district staff from the Chicago Public Schools’ Department of Literacy; Curriculum, Instruction and Digital Learning (CIDL); and External Research.