Webinar: Using Focus Skills to Close COVID-19 Learning Gaps

10th September | 2.00pm | Online

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 year level, making them essential and non-negotiable. These are Focus Skills.

Watch this research-based webinar to see where to access Reception to Year 11 Focus Skills for free—and how to use them to close performance gaps this school year. You’ll also understand:

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


Please complete the form below to register for this webinar:


Gene Kerns, EdD, is Chief Academic Officer at Renaissance and a nationally acclaimed speaker on learning progressions, K–12 assessments, and educational standards. He is co-author of the book Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise (Teachers College Press, 2017).

Katie McClarty, PhD, 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).

James Bell has led Professional Services at Renaissance for more than 15 years, overseeing the training and customer support offered for every Renaissance solution. He led the original UK pilot of Accelerated Reader and also oversaw the work done by the National Foundation for Educational Research to develop Learning Progressions for Star Assessments.