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Using Focus Skills to Close COVID-19 Learning Gaps

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Using Focus Skills to Close COVID-19 Learning Gaps

Presented by Dr. Gene Kerns, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Renaissance; and Dr. Katie McClarty, Vice President of Research and Design, Renaissance

Sponsored by Renaissance®

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In recent dialogues about educational equity and the “COVID Slide,” many authors and agencies have recommended that we focus on “the most critical skills” at every grade level. But few have provided definitive guidance on identifying them.

Pioneering content development work by Renaissance has identified the reading and math skills that lay the foundation for future learning and are the most important for a given grade level, making them essential and non-negotiable. These are Focus Skills.

Watch this research-based edWebinar to see where to access K–12 Focus Skills for free—and how to use them to close performance gaps in the new school year. You’ll also understand:

  • How Renaissance identifies Focus Skills
  • How Focus Skills relate to your state standards
  • What Focus Skills tell us about reversing COVID-related learning loss
  • How Focus Skills will help you target and prioritize instruction in 2020–2021 and beyond

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to kindergarten through high school teachers, school and district leaders, assessment directors, curriculum directors, reading directors, math directors, and principals.


Gene KernsAbout the Presenters

Gene Kerns, Ed.D., is Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Renaissance and a nationally acclaimed speaker on assessment, learning progressions, and educational standards. He is co-author of the book Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise (Teachers College Press, 2017).


Katie McClartyKatie McClarty, Ph.D., is Vice President of Research and Design at Renaissance. She is the former Chief Assessment Officer at Questar and co-editor of the book Preparing Students for College and Careers: Theory, Measurement, and Educational Practice (Routledge, 2017).


Join the Assessment for Learning community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Renaissance ® creates student-centered programs that give educators insights and resources to effectively target instruction, accelerate growth, and help every student build a strong foundation for success.



Wednesday, July 15, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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