BASD sees substantial increase in students failing core subjects over the pandemic school year

Written by on June 18, 2021

BASD sees substantial increase in students failing core subjects over the pandemic school year

By Chloe Nouvelle

June 18, 2021

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh Valley educators say the pandemic has taken a toll on the area’s high school students

But just how much of a toll?

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One indicator shows the number of students in the Bethlehem Area School District who failed up to three core classes rose sharply from the last pre-pandemic school year.

WLVR requested the failure rates from the Easton Area School District and Allentown School District as well. Officials from both submitted 30-day extensions to Right to Know requests asking for those numbers.

However, Bethlehem Superintendent Joseph Roy dug into this year’s numbers, comparing them to the last pre-pandemic school year.

He says they found a nearly 68% increase in students failing two or more core subjects and a 43% increase in students failing three or more.  

“When you’re failing three or more classes, you’re basically not connected, you’re not engaging in your schoolwork. And under typical circumstances, the kids are in school every day, so you can deal with that and help them along. But they just did not have the same face to face interactions. And to me, that obviously did a lot of damage to these kids,” Roy says.

Roy says that’s a significant number of kids who won’t have the credits they need to move on.

“Depending what year they’re in, junior or senior, do they have time, room in their schedule, to make up what they need to make up? And I think it would be unfair that in the end they fail to graduate and they end up as a non-completer of high school because of what they went through with the pandemic,” Roy says.

An F grade in Bethlehem’s high schools is a 69 or below.

Roy says students have a chance to make up these classes in summer school which is free this year.

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