National study: School closures negatively affect student learning

School closures have negative impact on student learning. (Photo from Sheridan Media files)

A recently released national study indicates that school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively affected student learning across the country.

In fact, according to Craig Dougherty, the effect of school closures on students has been devastating.

Dougherty is superintendent of Sheridan County School District 2, which is generally ranked as one of the top public school systems in Wyoming in terms of academics. Yet even District 2, Dougherty said, saw a regression in students over the summer after statewide closures forced students and teachers to virtual learning where classes were conducted via computer.

Dougherty said when the child is back in school, he or she is there with the teacher, and the teacher can see the child learning, or not learning, and can intervene immediately. He said virtual learning just isn’t the same as being in the classroom.

Dougherty said currently all of the schools in Wyoming, with the exception of some reservation schools, are open. But across the country, he said, a lot of schools are still closed, and he thinks that’s going to have a detrimental effect not only on the children but on society as a whole.

He said the children need to be in school, and School District 2 educators will continue to work as a team to make sure the district’s schools remain open.


  1. Parents need to remove their children from the government school system and home school. The curriculum available is plentiful and the cost will fit any budget….and you’ll never have to worry about government school shutdowns again.

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