BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been one of the biggest impacts of the pandemic, students struggling in school because of online learning. In Baltimore City, public school leaders have a plan to help those students who have fallen behind get back on track.

Baltimore City Public Schools said its plan to help students includes personalized learning plans which look at the academic performance for each of their 77,800 students.

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“We will look at literacy, we will look at math, we may look at some of our other core content areas in the secondary area to really build a picture of students so that we know where their strengths are and where the gaps are that we need to hone in on,” said Joan Dabrowski, the chief academic officer for Baltimore City Public schools.

The district said the extensive plan also seeks to gather details from students and their family about students’ personal needs. School officials also said there will also be more tutoring options and every school will now have a tutoring partner.

According to a report from state education officials earlier this year, failure rates in most of Maryland’s public schools doubled or tripled in their second semester.

“I think it’s tough and it’s been a very difficult process for parents all over the place,” said Sydnee Distance, who has two children in Baltimore City public schools.

Distance said it was a challenge to juggle her work while her children learned online, but both her son and daughter did well during online learning.

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“I haven’t been really concerned about learning loss because whatever I feel like they’re not getting, I supplement at home,” says Distance.

Members of Baltimore City Council received a presentation on the school system’s plan to help students who have fallen behind academically.

WJZ Reporter Ava-joye Burnett asked Councilman John Bullock, “Are you satisfied with the plan of action that they laid out?”

“One of the things that I was pleased with is when they mention not necessarily remediation but acceleration, trying to get our young people the skills and the ability to be able to be at grade level,” said Councilman Bullock. “We will see. I’m confident at this point in terms of the answers, but we have to keep our eyes on the ball.”

There was a public hearing segment during the virtual meeting where two public speakers voiced their dissatisfaction with the CEO of Schools, Dr. Sonja Santelises. One person was concerned that enough virtual learning options are not being provided.

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While acknowledging that the district has more work to do, Distance commended leaders for their plans to help struggling students. “I’m glad that they number one recognize that this is a problem and are trying to make changes where they can address the problem and help these children,” said Distance.

Ava-joye Burnett