Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 and schools moving to distance learning, Groves met the goal of delivering 20 evaluations to underserved students.
Groves’ commitment to delivering equitable educational experiences to all students continued during the 2020-21 school year as its Psychoeducational Assessment for All (PAA) program met its goal of delivering the no-cost comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to students attending three underserved elementary schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Each school is a participant in the Groves Literacy Partnerships’® (GLP) initiative addressing the literacy achievement gap through the delivery of teacher training and coaching embedded in evidence-based literacy instruction and curriculum.
A collaboration between the Groves Learning Center and GLP, the PAA program brings the Learning Center’s expertise in providing diagnostic evaluations to children at risk for academic failure. The diagnostic evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment of cognitive, academic, social-emotional, and behavioral functioning. From the evaluation, the Learning Center’s psychologists are able to identify potential diagnoses that allow school professionals and parents to implement crucial accommodations and recommendations for individualized student support. Of the evaluations completed between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, all students were diagnosed with some type of learning disability, including, but not limited to, ADHD and dyslexia diagnoses ranging from moderate to severe. With 100% of families offered a follow-up session with the psychologist to discuss their child’s evaluation results, there was a 91% success rate in meeting with the family. This was a significant accomplishment in that for many of these families they had to overcome transportation, language, work challenges, and COVID-19 school cancellations and restrictions to meet with the psychologist.
The disruption brought by the pandemic to classroom instruction has only intensified the recognition by the PAA team that the need for comprehensive diagnostic evaluations at underserved schools is vast and deep. With PAA relying solely on philanthropic support, it is still the hope to add a fourth school to the program and complete 30 assessments during the 2021-22 school year.
PAA’s overall goal is to deliver equitable and accessible psychoeducational evaluations to all students regardless of circumstances.
Originally published in Groves Connections – Summer 2021.
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