Some districts, like Lawrence and Springfield, have invested in special "acceleration academies" that bring students back for intensive learning in areas that need focus.
Nathaniel Schwartz, an education researcher at Brown University, said districts could also consider tutoring programs, summer school offerings and nightmarish-sounding "double-dose algebra" courses to make up for learning losses.
But first and foremost, he said, kids need to return to school buildings to form strong in-person relationships with adults.
"The schools that seem to have been most successful across this time period are those that have found ways to provide strong connection and support while continuing to push forward on the academic pieces," Schwartz said. "And that's a tall order. That's why the work is feeling so hard to so many people right now."
The real question for districts, he said, is what will it take to get back to normal?