Hays CISD starts credit recovery early, with more failing students than normal due to pandemic stresses

Education

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Some students in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District who’ve fallen behind have more time to pick up their grades.

The district is getting an early start, offering high schoolers a chance to make up classes they failed. Usually the district does this leading into summer school.

But according to Hays CISD, thousands of students failed classes last semester and need more time. The district believes this is a direct result of the pandemic forcing students out of the classroom into virtual learning.

Jennifer Taylor, a parent in the district, has three high schoolers. She understands first hand the multiple ways a pandemic can affect students. 

“I have a senior, a sophomore and a freshman,” Taylor said. “My senior and my freshman have struggled.”

It’s been tough. But she said she wants her kids to keep pushing.

“At some point, the kids have to do the work,” Taylor said.

Still, Taylor does support the district in moving up its high school credit recovery starting this semester. 

“To make those decisions on a district level has to be so difficult,” Taylor said.

According to Hays CISD, nearly a quarter of students failed a class last semester. That’s almost double compared to the semesters prior. 

Chart of percentages of Hays CISD students who received a failing grade or grades in previous semesters

Hays CISD said more than 2,700 of its high schoolers need to recover credits.

“Our top priority is graduating students,” Derek McDaniel, director of curriculum and instruction with Hays CISD, said. “And we’ve got to make sure they’re ready for that continuation of courses.”

Credit recovery will look different for every campus, and the district said letters will be sent home letting parents know what’s going on. 

“Each unit has a pre-assessment that will identify the objectives a student needs to master,” McDaniel said. “If they master them — they move on. If they don’t, we’ll provide the support and instruction that goes with it.”

Taylor is hoping her students and others will continue to work hard, even with the challenges that the pandemic has created.

“I hope that my kids will do the work, but they’ve got to be accountable too,” Taylor said.

Hays CISD is also giving high schoolers multiple opportunities to recover grades throughout the semester, outlined in the chart below.

There’s ‘Assignment Repair,’ during the nine weeks, and ‘Grade Repair,’ before transcripts are finalized at the end of the semester. 

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