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East Jackson Community Schools making adjustments to help improve grades

Many online students are struggling to keep grades up
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT
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LEONI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - The coronavirus crisis caused many changes to how students are learning this fall, and it’s affecting their grades.

East Jackson Community Schools made adjustments to its Back to Learning plan to help students improve their scores. The district is one of few that’s offering in-person learning five days a week.

Starting Monday, students will go home 28 minutes earlier to give teachers more time to work with remote learners.

“It was very tricky in the beginning. We didn’t really know what we were doing in the beginning,” said Teresa Deault, whose daughter is a sophomore at East Jackson Secondary School.

Deault said it has been a challenging first few weeks of school since her family opted for online learning to help keep family members away from COVID-19.

“We’re very concerned about her being a gateway, my daughter being a gateway, to give it my mom,” she said.

Deault said her daughter normally gets A’s and B’s on her assignments, but this year they are lower.

“We were finding she was missing assignments and she was getting F’s. Literally right off the get go she had two F’s,” said Deault.

She’s not alone. In fact, many online learners are in the the same situation.

“We weren’t real surprised because this is brand new,” said Joel Cook, East Jackson Secondary School principal.

Cook said he planned to make adjustments about a month into the new school year.

“It didn’t really catch us by surprise that students were struggling with this. It’s not just an East Jackson issue, it’s a county, it’s a state issue,” he said.

Now students can turn in late assignments for full credit and Fridays at EJSH are reserved for academic support. Meaning, kids won’t get new lessons on these days.

Cook said the biggest change to the school day will help teachers work with online students.

“They are doing the job of both the virtual teacher and in-person teacher. We underestimated at the start of the year on how much time they would need,” he said.

Deault said these changes now will really help her daughter.

“I was ecstatic. I was so happy they are doing this for all the kids,” she said.

Cook said East Jackson Community Schools doesn’t plan to go to a hybrid schedule like other districts in the county. The district is having a virtual town hall so administrators can answer any questions parents and students might have.

The virtual town hall starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday via Zoom.

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