HONOLULU(KHON2) — Even though students have been back in classrooms, data shows some children continue to struggle due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
The DOE universal screener testing revealed that in the fall and winter of the 2021-2022 school year, almost a fourth of all elementary students were failing English. Though things improved slightly in English in the second quarter, more of them failed math.
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In Middle School, a higher percentage failed English the second quarter, with no change or improvement in math.
And in high school, the percentage of students failing both subjects went up the second quarter.
David Miyashiro, Executive Director of HawaiiKidsCAN, said it’s alarming.
“I really think that this is a wake-up call for our families — for our entire system to really push us all to think about what more could we be doing for students,” said Miyashiro.
Miyashiro said quarantine rules likely contributed to the failing grades.
“We heard from a number of parents who said that, while their kids were stuck at home, they were not offered an opportunity to continue with their class via something like zoom,” he explained. “They were just basically stuck at home, and then they maybe got an email packet of assignments to do.”
In a letter to the Board of Education (BOE), Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said:
“The Department will continue to assess student performance outcomes and address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Kili Namau’u, BOE Chairperson of the Student Achievement Committee, shared the DOE’s plans for a robust summer school schedule to help students catch up.
“There will be a variety of programs that will be available to our students that include enrichment, recovery, remediation, place-based learning, athletics, those were all presented today,” Namau’u explained.
Summer school will be free to all students, thanks to federal funding.
Miyashiro hopes parents will take advantage of it. But he also wants the DOE to look into offering tutoring.
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“Research shows tutoring works. It’s one of the number one things we can do to help get kids back on track,” he said. “So we would like to see every single student who is struggling in Hawaii have access to high-quality tutoring.”