Druid Hills Middle School, which saw 77 students held back during the 2018-2019 school year, had no students held back when final grades were computed for the school year that just ended. This was also the case at Rock Chapel Elementary School, which had 66 students held back the previous year. Some high schools — including Lithonia, Miller Grove, Cedar Grove and Columbia — also saw vastly improved statistics over the previous year.
Several High Schools — including Chamblee, Dunwoody, Martin Luther King, Redan and Tucker — saw increases in the number of students not advancing to the next grade.
Stepney said many increases came as the district changed where some data ended up. Previously, information on students who are part of the International Center — a program used to transition international students into their home schools — was reported as part of the program’s data. Now, that information is reported under the home school, including when a student does not advance to the next grade level.
The district shifted to online learning as government officials pushed for school buildings to be closed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 2.3 million in the United States, with more than 120,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stepney said other initiatives will continue in future years to aid students, including summer learning programs tackling math, reading and transitioning English Speakers of Other Languages students into their neighborhood schools.
Our plan “wasn’t just what are we doing for COVID-19,” she said. “It was what are we going to do for our kids for the summer. Let’s make sure they have the foundation … to continue to support them.”