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During Covid-19, a remote kindergarten ‘could have a long-term impact on this generation of children.’

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — The city of High Point, North Carolina, has been designated as a One grade level in particular has educators concerned: kindergartners.

Of all the students who suffered learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic and remote schooling, kindergartners are the most concerned.

Kindergarten is where 5- and 6-year-olds learn the fundamentals of becoming a pupil, such as taking turns and cooperating, which they will need for the next 12 years of formal education. It occurs during a crucial period in brain development, between the ages of 5 and 7, when neural connections for higher-level cognitive functions such as problem-solving and reasoning are firing at their fastest.

Kindergarten “cannot be reproduced in the virtual world except by the best teachers,” according to Whitney Oakley, chief academic officer for Guilford County Schools in North Carolina. A missing, delayed, or poor-quality kindergarten experience “could have a long-term effect on this generation of children.”

According to a 2015 study by Mark Greenberg, a professor of developmental psychology at Penn State University, the most accurate indicator of positive outcomes in adulthood, from educational achievement to mental wellbeing, is how well students cooperate with peers, support others, understand emotions, and overcome disputes, not academic ability.

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