San Diego Unified School District

Grades Sink, Absences Rise at San Diego Unified During Pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

The San Diego Unified School District released new numbers showing increases in poor grades and absenteeism this past year.

Many will not be surprised about what the new data reveals, considering the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures had on students.

NBC 7 spoke to Bonnie Jimenez, a San Diego Unified parent, who said her daughter's grades have dropped significantly. Jimenez said her daughter was at grade level prior to the pandemic but that her grades were now one to two levels below that. Jimenez said she is concerned about the long-term effects this could have on her second-grader.

'I'm pretty much worried," Jimenez said. "I can see the difficulty she's having when she's trying to spell or write or do math, and it's very frustrating because the schools were closed for so long for in-person learning."

District board president Richard Barrera said SDUSD officials plan to expand summer school, hire more counselors, reduce class size and provide more after-school tutoring opportunities. Barrera also said thatthey will be using that strategty for the next three years to get students on track and ahead.

"We've got a lot of work to do to recover and to get our students back on track, but what we're confident about is: We actually kno how to do that," Barrera said. "You know, the strategies that showed improvement before the pandemic, we now have the opportunity to not only to go back to those strategies, but to actually do more

School-district leaders met on Tuesday to craft a plan to help the students, according to Barrera.

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