Virtual learning proving to be unsuccessful; multiple districts transition to in-person classes only

VIDEO: Virtual learning proving to be unsuccessful; multiple districts transition to in-person classes only

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Poor grades and poor attendance. That is what nearly every school district says the reasoning is for having all students return to in-person classes.

It’s a decision that area school leaders and even some parents are having to make.

“They really struggled seeing their classmates but not being able to be with their classmates and I guess I underestimated how much they would struggle not being in the same room with their friends,” said Jessica Tudyk, parent of children at Canyon ISD.

Jessica Tudyk was part of the small percentage at Canyon ISD who chose virtual learning for her kids.

Since then, her kids are now back in school learning in person.

Something the Canyon ISD superintendent is asking all parents to do.

“Parents, I’m encouraging you. Bring your students to school. Our teachers do best face to face. Their learning can not be sacrificed. We want our students to perform well, we want them to learn and be on progress,” said Dr. Darryl Flusche, superintendent at Canyon ISD.

The transition is becoming more and more common.

Many students are not learning like they should online, forcing schools to make the decision to suspend virtual learning.

“That’s with anything, if you don’t show up for your job you’re not going to get paid. The kids weren’t showing up to get any of that engagement from the lessons that were there. We called them, we emailed them, we tried every avenue we can,” said Dean Birkes, principal, River Road High School.

All students at River Road ISD returned to in-person classes this week.

Poor attendance is the common factor between school districts.

Tudyk says for her kids, the spring semester online was easier than the fall.

“In the fall it was very synchronous, so most of the stuff you did all day you had to sit in front of the computer at that same time and I think that anyone with kids knows, sometimes that flexibility of not being able to sit down right at that second is something we take advantage of I think,” said Tudyk.

Canyon ISD currently still offers virtual learning.

However, the district says the attendance rate for virtual learners is around 88 percent and when it comes to high school, nearly half of virtual students are considered low performers.

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