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Kids Face Challenges Adjusting to In-Person Learning

Some children lost social skills during the pandemic, due to a lack of interaction with peers and adults outside of their family.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a lingering impact on students returning to in-person school.

The prolonged virtual learning has set some students back in social skills and the ability to handle a full school day, said Unity Point Superintendent Lori James-Gross.

"Struggling to interact with their peers in a socially appropriate manner has been, it's almost been like kind of reteaching that aspect of it," James-Gross said. "Rebuilding stamina, school stamina, being able to manage the length of the day, being able to manage the mental capacity of the day, engaging with multiple adults, they hadn't done so in a very long period of time, and of course all of their peers."

James-Gross said the school system has also seen some inappropriate behavior from older students who have grown used to being independent and are struggling to re-adjust to school rules.

James-Gross and other children's health experts discussed the pandemic's impact on children as part of a series of webinars being held by the SIU School of Medicine and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. The next webinar will be held on October 14th at noon, and will discuss the pandemic's impact on workforce development.