Learning Losses

Student failure rates increase across the country

According to the Omaha World Harold the percentage of students failing two or more classes has increased to 11.4% for in-person learners and to 32.6% in the 2020 fall semester for remote learners from the pre-pandemic 8.9%.

It is due to this that MN has put together a system of Credit Recovery for the students at MN to aid them through the academic struggles caused by the pandemic.

“It started last spring with everybody being remote.  This was quite difficult for both the students and staff to get the requisite tasks done,” Angel Jones and Sean Burns from the MN credit recovery team said. 

When at home, distractions are high and motivation can be low outside of a learning environment that many students are so used to. There are various other reasons students are falling behind as well.

“Students fall behind for a myriad of reasons. Examples may be the remote learning was not for them, a parent had COVID and they had to quarantine along with them, a poor internet connection caused interrupted learning. This list can go on and on,” Burns and Jones said.

It’s not only the remote learners struggling, however, but in-person learners in Millard are also struggling as well

Between shorter class periods and the necessities that come with teachers teaching remote students, it is more difficult to balance school and work, even with learning in person. The disconnect between students and teachers over Zoom is also a factor in the increase in failure rates.

“First of all, our classes have been shortened because they want to do a fourth lunch, then we have to log out of Zoom from one-hour and log into Zoom for the next hour and there’s the cleaning of the desks,” math teacher Chad Bray said. “So the amount of time I have to walk around and just answer questions is less than last year.”

Even though it is evident through statistics shown by the Omaha World Herald that mathematics and English are taking the heaviest blow during this pandemic, there are struggles in every subject.

These struggles can be aided through the MN Credit Recovery program.

The Credit Recovery program, though only available to in-person learners, uses an online program called Odysseyware to help them in gaining back their lost credits in almost all core classes.

“Students meet with their counselor and agree to work hard on a program. If they meet the qualifications, they will get a course and teacher of record to help them,” assistant principal Mary. Bayne said. “Students must keep up with the program or they will be dropped. They can work on the course any time, in or out of school, but most students are placed in our credit-recovery class. It meets every day.”

Students also have the ability to recover credits outside of this program by retaking the class they had failed or through an online program that they must pay for.

The challenges that come with learning during a pandemic are undeniable but despite these challenges, school districts are implementing methods to aid in students learning success.