ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - We’re still learning about the effects that COVID has had on education.
In Limestone County - the early days of the pandemic may have brought graduation rates down.
”A drop of any type in graduation rates, you know, causes us concern because we care for every kid, we want to make sure every kid has opportunities,” Limestone County Schools Superintendent Randy Shearouse said.
Graduation rates in the 2020 school year fell by more than 3 percent in Limestone County. Students ready for college or careers dropped by more than 10 percent.
Shearouse said when everything came to a screeching halt last March, it was difficult.
He thinks device and internet access played a part.
“Unfortunately, I think we did have some kids that didn’t complete courses they needed to complete, the CCR you know the college and career credentials they didn’t complete those either because we didn’t have that contact we needed to have with them,” Shearouse said.
Generally at the end of the year, school staff does a lot to catch kids up and motivate them - but the shut down made that difficult.
“We know how important it is now to have a high school diploma when you look at job opportunities and we also want to make sure that high school diploma means something,” Shearouse said.
Shearouse says now, they have a handle on it.
“Even on our virtual side, we’ve got the devices out there. We’ve got the contact being made with our teachers and students. So I feel like this year we’ll be better off,” Shearouse said.
The school system is receiving Cares Act 2 money. They are launching an after-school tutoring program as well as a summer program to catch students up.