The data from the survey given to teachers.

Online school and failing grades

December 18, 2020

Mrs. Schreier feels that the Hybrid and Virtual plans add more challenges for students (Kelsie Anderson)

Many teachers here at TJ have noticed an increase in the number of their students failing. With students being on the Hybrid or Virtual plan it may be more difficult for them to complete their school work but that might not exactly be the case.

A survey was sent out to teachers here at TJ asking them to state their opinions on why students are failing and what they believe the cause is. A total of 25 responses were submitted before we had to shut down the survey due to students accidentally getting ahold of the survey.

Mrs. Schreier, an English teacher here at TJ, talked about what she has noticed since our return to hybrid in terms of her students failing.

“My percentage of students failing my classes has not actually increased significantly, but I have noticed an increase in students earning D’s in my classes this year compared to last year,” she said. Schreier teaches advanced and CE level English classes “with a lot of self-motivated students.”

“The majority of my students who are earning D’s are hybrid, but there are a couple who are virtual. I don’t have any virtual students failing at this time, but I do have a few hybrid students who are failing,” added Schreier.

To try and help her hybrid and virtual students, Schreier contacts those who are below a C in her classes to offer assistance; to help them better understand their assignments so that they can get better grades.

“It is possible that some students will have difficulty keeping up with their assignments due to technology issues, work schedules, or the lack of structure and accountability that comes with learning from home.”

Schreier explained that she hasn’t noticed a decrease in the number of students who are failing her classes since a majority of the students have returned to the hybrid plan.

“For my classes, the students who have D’s and F’s were already struggling to complete their work before we went back to hybrid,” said Schreier. “As a whole, in the building, we definitely have a higher failure rate is because of the pandemic and the students not being in the building as much.”

One response from the survey that was given by a teacher who didn’t want to be interviewed explained that they wanted to further explain their opinion on why they said no to some of the questions.

“The lack of enforcement for students logging in from home, not requiring completion of work to pass in the spring, and the extra stressors created by covid and surrounding health and economic issues for students and families, and many other things are impacting the grades of failing students. Not just the schedule.”

Mrs. Dunlap, one of TJ’s science teachers also talked about what she has noticed with her students failing.

“I have more F’s than ever before, and also a lot of low D’s. So when students continue to not complete the work there will be even more F’s,” said Dunlap.

“I set up google meet times for those students who need help. I will meet with them to clarify any issues or misunderstandings. I post daily videos and communicate daily in the classroom as well.”

Dunlap also added that students are struggling without asking for help.

“In normal years I can convince students to try harder when they are physically in the classroom, but this year I have more outside the building which makes it even harder to get them to participate.”

One thing that TJ is doing to help is giving students a weekly survey called the Engagement Survey. Students are asked questions to rate themselves on their self-care, challenges that they faced throughout the week, and how focused they are with school work.

With the end of the semester coming up students should be wrapping up all of their work in order to prepare for their finals and it may be more difficult with those that aren’t passing one or more of their classes.

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