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Schools: The New Normal | NYC Council Working On Fixes For Students In Danger Of Failing Remote Learning Courses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Tens of thousands of New York City students are in jeopardy of getting a failing grade for not finishing their online course work.

On Wednesday, the City Council Education Committee questioned the policy, while looking for answers on the continued obstacles students and staff are facing, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.

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With a vast majority of students in the city taking classes completely online, more than 71,000 have what's known as an "NX" grade in at least one subject.

It means they risk failing if they don't complete their coursework by the end of the month.

"Students who have NX grades are being embraced and supported. There's progress being made," First Deputy Schools Chancellor Donald Conyers said.

Schools: The New Normal

While fewer students than in a traditional year are at risk of failing, this school year has been anything but normal. Of those impacted, nearly half have special needs or speak a language other than English.

"No child in New York City should be assigned a failing, permanent, damaging grade. The system failed them. Government failed them," City Council Education Committee Chairman Mark Treyger said.

Members of the committee learned some of the problems that have plagued the school system since the spring still linger.

Wi-Fi connectivity and device distribution is ongoing, while schools are trying to track down 2,600 students who have never logged on.

"Recognize the disparate impact the pandemic has had and get students caught up so that this learning loss doesn't have ripple effects for generations to come," said Randi Levine of Advocates for Children.

Lisa Reyes' 9-year-old daughter is among many who find remote learning difficult.

"She really just goes on maybe three times a day. It's cut into groups because her class is 40-plus students," Reyes said.

Middle and high schools are temporarily closed for in-person learning, but students enrolled in the hybrid option can have virtual classes with up to 60 students.

"The teacher doesn't get the blame because it's also hard on her, but it's also hard on the students," Reyes said.

The Department of Education said it is actively working to address concerns.

The district intends to address students learning loss in the fall, but a detailed plan has not been outlined.

Still, the reality is, despite many people's best efforts, many students are falling through the cracks.

CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas contributed to this report


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