Schooling During Covid-19: An Academic Crisis

Brandt Trotter, Features Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven itself to be a difficult time for everyone. Millions of people have lost their jobs, many are short on their rent payments, and those who still have work are stressed out and exhausted, but what about those who are still in school?

It has been a consistently popular belief among students that the pandemic has caused unprecedented amounts of stress and anxiety, and that it has taken a toll on them not only mentally, but academically as well. 

For instance, a recent study from Brookings shows that, in between the winter and fall of 2019, 79% of students switching from grade 3 to 4 saw notable academic gains, as opposed to the winter and fall of 2020, where only 57% of students of the same grades saw academic gains, a 22% drop. 

Additionally, a study from EducationWeek states that the number of student absences since the beginning of the pandemic have quite literally doubled since the year prior to the pandemic’s beginning. More specifically, about 5% of students on average are now reported absent daily from teachers across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused countless students to feel depressed, overwhelmed, alone, or irritated, and many have gotten to a point where they have just given up on trying to maintain their grades and attendance. 

Allison Muschong, a Junior at Mason High School, has become overwhelmed by the amount of work obtained over the school year, and has seen a decline in grades. “Because the pandemic, among other things, has taken motivation and general well-being from so many, it’s hard to do as well academically,” said Muschong. “I’m not one to get bad grades, but I’ve had countless missing assignments and my grades are down. It’s hard to do school when even the smallest things are overwhelming at this point.”

Mason High School is a prime example of the stress that students have had to encounter. Many of the students that attend the school would agree that, in some way shape-or-form, they have seen an academic decline, whether it be motivation, grades, or something else. 

“I haven’t done this bad in school since freshman year,” said Ava Singh, a Senior at Mason High School.

Brenna Marshall, another Mason student, has seen a sharp nosedive in academic motivation, saying “Motivation is wayyy down.”

It has been extremely common for students to see a poorer performance in school since the pandemic began, and many schools across the United States have loosened their strictness when it comes to attendance policies, grading policies, and general expectations.

When will students be able to ditch Zoom for good and return to school full-time? Nobody really knows. Some say it could be by the fall of 2021, and some say it could last through 2022. Until then, students hope that their unfortunate decreases in performance won’t have too harsh of an effect on them going forward.