More students failing classes amid distance learning

For so many students across our region, learning from a distance has not been easy – not just for the kids, but also for the teachers and administrators.

The challenges are becoming so obvious, one South Sound principal dropped an f-bomb during a school board meeting Tuesday night. However, he was not cursing - instead, the principal warned that too many of his kids are failing classes.

Samir Amin, 18, is spending his senior year studying from his bedroom though he wishes he could be back in class at North Thurston High School in Lacey.

His role in student government student means he is also advising underclassmen and he has seen how some underclassmen exhibit a sense of disconnect.

“What I notice,” he said, “The freshmen aren’t getting that social interaction.”

During a school board meeting Tuesday, North Thurston’s Principal said nearly half of all his students were getting an ‘F’ in at least one class. It is a new phenomenon not typically seen during regular in-person instruction.

“That sounds shocking but it’s not very surprising at all,” said student Natalie Scott. “Online is showing the deeper divide of students.”

The Timberline High senior also sees her classmates struggling and says sometimes just paying attention is the easiest challenge.

“I don’t have to worry about the bare necessities people don’t have,” she added.

 “I feel for other students,” said Samir’s father, Sakhawat. “The freshman year just starting the high school.”

Samir’s dad says this year he is focused more than ever on communicating with his son and his instructors.

Samir says he also misses sports and wants to study mathematics in college, but recognizes nothing will feel normal until the impacts of a pandemic ease, allowing some return to normal.  

“The social interaction is so limited I don’t feel like a normal high schooler,” said Samir.