LFP Elementary educators create after-school math lab for struggling students


In 2020 and 2021, most parents in the United States reported that the pandemic was hurting their children’s education. But by the fall of 2022, a Pew survey showed that only a quarter of parents thought their children were still behind; another study revealed that more than 90 percent felt their child had already or would soon catch up. To hear parents tell it, the pandemic’s effects on education were transitory.

Several teachers I’ve talked to informally attest that the pandemic's impact on students isn’t just academic. They’ve seen an abnormal increase in lagging social skills and behavioral issues, further inhibiting teachers' ability to get kids caught up and back on track.

“Although some students need help in several subjects, we opted to focus on math because we observed it could help the most students,” says Kim Clasen, a fifth-grade teacher at LFP Elementary. Fifth-grade teachers Tami Thompson and Kim Clasen came up with the idea of offering an after-school math lab to select struggling students. Unfortunately, not all who were qualified were able to participate.

Today was the last day of the 11-week program, so they decided to celebrate with “Pi” (key lime and marionberry!) would be appropriate.

LFP Elementary teachers Kim Clasen and Tami Thompson wrote a grant proposal that the Shoreline Schools Foundation fulfilled to fund the program, which included necessary after-school bus service for the students, materials, and hourly pay for the teachers. “We made measurable progress with the participating students,” said Kim “Overall, it was a success. Students were engaged and happy to be there each week and were much more confident in their math skills at the end of our program.”

Our community is lucky to have such dedicated teachers and staff in Shoreline Schools who go the extra mile despite massive funding cuts throughout the district. These teachers were resourceful and able to find funding to pay for this critical need when they saw the deficit in math skills that so many of their students were experiencing. They were also willing to extend their workday to accommodate students in need.

LFP Elementary 5th grade teachers Tammy Thompson (left) and Kim Clasen (right)
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