ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (KDKA) — The switch to remote working and learning has been challenging for everyone.
But residents in one local school district told KDKA that the online learning structure is so flawed that students who have never had a bad grade are receiving failing grades.
Parents and students in the Aliquippa School District fear they are destined for doom if officials do not make changes to the remote learning model.
“There’s cause for alarm. We have a lot of honor roll students not doing well,” said resident Susan Caple.
Caple is worried about students like Jason Harvey, who says he has dreams of going to culinary school and becoming a chef “and open my own business one day.” During his academic career, the 16-year-old sophomore has been an honor roll student and nominee for the National Honor Society.
This semester, Harvey went from thriving to failing with numerous failing grades on his current progress report.
“Whenever I got my progress report yesterday, I cried,” said Harvey.
The district uses Google Classroom for teachers to post video lessons online. Harvey claims he and his classmates barely receive live instruction and can only ask questions during the last 15 minutes of class.
“I don’t feel like that’s enough time to ask even three or four questions,” said Harvey.
Caple told KDKA that “There are just no options available for us. They’re using a cookie-cutter system and you can’t do that with everybody.”
Caple plans to address the school board about these issues during its monthly meeting on Wednesday night.
“We need to know why you had the entire year to make a plan and this plan ain’t working,” said Caple.
Caple hopes the district creates more efficient options for educating Aliquippa’s youth during the pandemic and beyond.
“Our kids were already falling through the cracks. And now the cracks just got wider,” said Caple.
The superintendent did not immediately answer KDKA’s request for comment.
However, the school district does offer some resources for students who are struggling academically. Click here for more.