About 25% of Wake County middle and high schoolers failed a class during virtual learning

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — During a work session Tuesday, Wake County school leaders discussed how to keep students engaged during virtual learning after an increase in failing grades and absences since the start of remote classes.

“While not necessarily surprising given the state and national trends that we are seeing, it indeed is cause for concern,” said Paul Koh, assistant superintendent for student support services for Wake County Public School System.

Between 24 and 25 percent of high schoolers and 28 percent of middle school students in Wake County Public School System failed at least one class during the first quarter. That’s up from 15 percent last year.

As for absences, 8.8 percent of students have four or more absences so far this year compared to 5.8 percent last year.

Parents with children in Wake County schools say they’re not surprised.

“I think that they need to be in front of a teacher getting that interaction. Things need to be very hands-on for them for it to motivate them and I think that remote learning is probably not serving them very well,” said Karen O’Leary, a parents of a Wake County student.

Parents say it’s going to take a team effort to get things get back on track.

“I just have my son redirect his attention span to the computer and just work hard. I think it’s a relationship you have to have between the teacher and the parent — it’s a two sided thing you have to work together. Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Tamara Highter, a Wake County parent.

The district says they are considering outreach opportunities and revising their grading and attendance strategy as a way to help. 

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