North Thurston Schools share plans to tackle failing grades

We first told you Wednesday about South Sound public school students struggling with grades as distance learning continues to reveal new challenges.

Today the North Thurston Public School District shared insight into the problem and how it plans to ensure kids do not fall behind.

This all started when the district’s school board learned on Tuesday that nearly half of all students at a single high school were failing at least one subject.

While attendance at the district is higher this fall than it was last spring when distance learning began, officials say student engagement through a computer screen is still tough for many kids.

The district says they are implementing new grading practices that offer flexible deadlines for kids having trouble. They are also looking to expand small group, in-person learning sessions that officials insist have shown to be successful.

“As compared to spring, they all started new with new relationships,” said district spokesperson Courtney Schrieve. “You don’t know this kid or what’s going on in their family, and those are the challenges I think schools across the country are facing.”

The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said it has not yet seen hard data suggesting failure rates are rising statewide but could learn more in January.

Parent conferences begin next week for families in the North Thurston School District.