Failing grades are up during the pandemic.
That’s not a surprise and not limited to Loudoun County’s public middle and high school students who have been learning online for the past 11 months. However, a report prepared for the School Board on Tuesday night provides an update on those trends with a look at the results of the year’s second grading period.
According to the report, middle school students in grades 6-8 landed fewer As and Bs and more Ds and Fs as compared to the past two years. This year, 63.7% of grades were As, a 2% decline from last year. B grades saw a larger decline, down 2.7% to 20.3%. Meanwhile, 4.2% of grades were Fs, up 3% compared to last year. D grades were up 1.1% to 3.3%.
At the high school level, students saw more A grades—up 4.7% to 57.5%—the highest level in the past three years. B grades dropped by 4.6% to 22.1% last marking period. There also were fewer C and D grades compared to previous years. However, F grades increased to 6.9%, compared to 3.8% in 2018-19 and 3.9% last year.
Loudoun’s middle and high school students have been limited to remote learning since school campuses closed last March at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many special needs and elementary school students were able to participate in the hybrid program that provides at least two days of in-person learning per week, that option has not been available to secondary school students. Hybrid learning was suspended for all students just before the winter break in December.
The School Board last week voted to restart the hybrid learning program Feb. 16 and to expand it to middle and high school students by March 3.