BELVIDERE (WREX) — Most students in the Stateline will return to full in-person learning this fall, but many will come back behind on their learning.
The Belvidere School District says 308 Belvidere High School Students and 315 Belvidere North High School students are not on track to graduate. Between both schools, 282 of those students are "significantly" off-track meaning if they pass all the classes they're currently enrolled in this year, they will still be off track to graduate.
To compare that data to least year, the district's ninth grade on-track was 88.3% per Illinois' interactive report card. As of now, the class of 2024 has a 71% on-track percentage between the two district high schools.
District Assistant Superintendent David Carson says a lot of the learning loss was due to remote learning and COVID-19, but the district is working hard to give students resources to get back on track.
"Part of this is being really clear about what the source of the issues are and also to provide opportunities for our kids to have additional time and additional support to make the progress that they need to graduate on time," Carson said.
The district tripled its summer school options for students and will have some level of in-school tutoring options for students.
However, Carson believes the high school's new grading system will be a big benefit to students who are behind. This year, the students will switch from a standards grading system to a proficiency grading system. The switch means students will be evaluated on pre-set learning outcomes in every class.
For example, if a student fails an algebra course, they don't necessarily have to retake the entire class to get credit. If the student struggled with solving equations, but did well with working graphs, the student wouldn't have to retake the chapter on graphs. Carson says the move will allow the district to catch kids up more efficiently.
"Instead of requiring students to repeat a course in its entirety, it puts us in a position where we can focus on the gaps," Carson said.
WREX asked for interviews with three school board members at Monday's committee meeting, but they declined to go on camera.