There are fewer "A” grades and more "F"s after the first grading period for middle and high school students in the Carlsbad Unified School District.
According to the district, after the first grading period, the percentage of "A" grades is down nearly 5 percentage points while the percentage of "F" grades is up by nearly 7 percentage points, which is equivalent to 300%. The numbers come after eight weeks of distance learning.
“I’m not surprised by the lower grades. I think this is a difficult time for everyone,” said Jenalyn Rogers, mother of three students, including one in middle school and one in high school.
Even though they did well, she said distance learning itself has been difficult and she would like students to go back to campus, if it can be done safely.
“I think they got a lot more 'B's than they used to. My kids are disciplined, but they need guidance, they need the pestering, is what my kids say. I’m constantly checking to make sure they’re online and paying attention,” Rogers said.
“I understand that parents want their children back at school,” said Evelyn Preston who has a son in high school. But she says distance learning is not getting a failing grade, the pandemic is.
“This is an ideal time. There's a lot of issues going on in the world, and I think students, parents, teachers, and families are all distracted. I think it's a reflection on our society, and I think that's what it is," Preston said.
To be clear, the percentage is of grades issued, not a percentage of students getting the grades. A student could get more than one failing grade.
In a statement to NBC 7 Superintendent, Ben Churchill said, “The 8-week progress reports are a snapshot in time." And that school principals are now working with teachers to bring groups of struggling students on campus to receive additional in-person support during the school day. “We will specifically target those students receiving 'D's and 'F's during this marking period.”
Editor's Note: This story has been update to clarify that F grades are up 7 percentage points, not 7%. That number equates to more than 300%.