As the Pandemic Continues to Disrupt Education, Even High-Achieving Local School Districts Feel the Effects

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West Chester Area School District
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After more than a year of academic disruption due to the pandemic, even high-achieving school districts in the area are feeling the effects, write Maddie Hanna, Kristen A. Graham, and Melanie Burney for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In January, kindergartners in the West Chester Area School District scored in the 34th percentile nationally in identifying the first sound in spoken words. This is a significant drop compared with last year, when the youngsters scored in the 70th percentile.

However, the kids did score better in other areas of the reading test, placing in the 41st to 63rd percentiles.

“We haven’t built that foundation with kids, especially in reading,” said WCASD Superintendent Jim Scanlon.

Grades have been suffering across the board.

For example, close to nine percent of the district’s ninth-graders failed two or more required subjects. The academic shortfall represented an eight-percent jump from pre-pandemic levels. Grades managed to partially rebound by February, after teachers reviewed materials and allowed students to resubmit assignments.

Read more about the West Chester Area School District in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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