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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

As students struggle with virtual learning, grades take a hit

Schools across the country are seeing a surge in lower grades during the pandemic and distance learning.

SAN DIEGO — It's no secret that distance learning has been a big adjustment for teachers, students and parents. Now new numbers are showing a rise in lower grades across the country, particularly in low income households.

“I do like the material but the connection with the students is my number one thing, and it’s not the same on the screen,” said Sean Meisner, an English Teacher at Bonita Vista High School.

Meisner sees firsthand the challenges some of his students are facing in a virtual classroom.

"At least half are having a very difficult time with it while the other half seem to be adjusted," he said.

According to data compiled from the Sweetwater Union High School District, "D" and "F" grades are up among high school and middle school students.

The district is not alone. Schools across the county and the country have seen a surge in low grades during the pandemic, particularly in math.

Experts say a number of factors can have an effect on a student's ability to succeed during these already challenging times, from distractions at home and anxiety, to limited internet access and homelessness.

Teachers say they continue to make adjustments where they can and have more compassion by accepting late work. Some have decided not to fail any of their students in certain subjects.

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