Jackson County School district notices a trend of lower grades among students this semester due to COVID-19

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — In Jackson County, school officials are beginning to see the negative impact the pandemic has had on their student’s academic success.

Officials said they are seeing more failing grades among their students.

Jackson County Superintendent, Larry Moore, said because some students have missed in-person instruction since March due to the pandemic, their grades are beginning to suffer.

“We’re very concerned that, that achievement gap has widened,” Moore said.

The school district has come up with “Super Saturdays.” It’s an optional weekend school program for students who feel like they are behind on their education.

“If we stayed on the same track we’re on, it would cause some students not to be able to graduate, it would cause some students not to be able to move on to the next grade,” Moore said.

Marianna High School principal, Carlan Martin, said he feel like the district doesn’t have much of a choice at this point.

“We’ve gotta get our kids through school and help them to get a diploma and right now, we’re kind of behind the eight ball,” Martin said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make up some ground.”

Cottondale Elementary principal, Jessica Craven, said only 30 percent of their students came back to them ready to preform at their new grade level when school started this year.

“We’ve actually had to move a couple of students back grades which we anticipated not very many, but a few students, based on their parent’s wishes and how they were performing, they were actually retained and moved back to the grade that they were in last year to try and catch up,” Craven said.

The optional Saturday school will start in January and officials said they plan to offer meals and transportation for students who want to attend.

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