Administrators at Greenville County Schools say that almost five times as many failing grades were reported compared to last year for the school year’s first quarter. The failing grades are largely due to the adjustments the district made during the pandemic, with many students participating in the district virtual school not turning in assignments on time, according to the school district officials.
More than 16,000 students in either brick-and-mortar school or virtual school had a failing grade in the first quarter of this academic school year.
Less than a third of GCS students participate in virtual school, while about 50,000 students attend in-person instruction.
“Even with this sharp rise in the number of F’s that we have seen during the first quarter of this year, we don’t see that as a failure in our virtual program or our e-Learning. But we do see it as a cry for help with a lot of students,” said school district spokesperson Tim Waller.
Waller said the increases in F’s were due to a few things. This includes students not turning in assignments on time, students being less comfortable than they thought they would be with virtual schooling and having to navigate unfamiliar technology. The situation, Waller said, “has reminded us of the urgency to get students back in full-time, five-day-a-week in-person instruction as soon as possible.”
The school district plans to offer more remediation assistance to help students overcome any challenges they’ve faced academically.
Waller said that school district officials have not found a certain subject to be the focus of the failing grades, but attribute it mostly to not turning in the work assigned. He said the district has taken steps to remind teachers to work more with students on deadlines, while not letting students get by without submitting work.
The news of the F’s came during a Board of Trustees committee meeting where superintendent Burke Royster said the district may announce next week additional in-person school days for middle school students. Elementary school students went back to school five days a week last week.