In the first trimester of the 2020/2021 school year, there were 1039 total failures. This is a drastic increase compared to past years.
For perspective, here is a breakdown of students failing two or more classes in 2018: freshman, 14 students; sophomores, 15; juniors, 7; seniors, 6, with a total of 42 students.
Compare those with the numbers for this year: 101 freshmen failed 319 classes; 109 sophomores failed 279 classes; 77 juniors failed 170 classes, and 73 seniors failed 163 classes.
There are many causes under the umbrella of online school causing such a high rate of failure, including but not limited to lack of motivation, internet issues, mental health problems aggravated by the pandemic, lack of one on one instruction, and lack of social interaction. Obviously this school year it is impossible to go back to in-person school as it used to be, and when we do it will be a wake-up call for many students.
“My wifi isn’t very great so I can’t always hear what the teacher is saying due to my computer lagging or Zoom reconnecting every 5 seconds. When my learning is being interrupted like that it makes it difficult to take things away from online classes,” said Katie Groaner ‘21.
“People don’t have any reason to work hard being home all day,” Colin Burns ‘21 said.
It seems increasingly hard for students to motivate themselves, especially when there are no tangible results and their bed and phone are just in the next room.
“Students have been used to getting instruction and help for the past 10-13 years. It is now gone. Many don’t have the skills to overcome problems without assistance,” said Principal Jeremy Wright.
This year students have been forced to advocate for themselves more, and take their education into their own hands. They have to motivate themselves to get out of bed and attend all of their classes, especially when skipping is so easy.
Covid-19 has made learning difficult for all students, and it is seen more clearly in the failure rates than anything.
By bringing students who are failing classes back into the school in the remaining weeks of the second trimester, Wright and PHS staff hope to make a difference in those rates.