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Leon County Schools, FAMU offer help to underperforming students

New education plan identifies and helps struggling students
Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 19:05:43-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' latest education-related executive order, schools are now being asked to step in when students' grades start to slip.

The School Intervention Plan will identify and help students who are struggling, especially students who are doing worse in school during the pandemic.

"So a student that may have been an 'A' student who suddenly is a 'C' or 'D' student, that's not making adequate progress for that student," said Leon County Schools Director of Elementary Schools Sue Kraul. "We're really trying to focus on individual students and how they're performing based on their potential."

Kraul says future parents will receive a written letter inviting the student to return to brick and mortar schools for in-person learning, but the decision is ultimately up to the parents.

Before it gets to that point, Leon County Schools is offering more tutoring, including virtual options.

There is also a team focused on identifying how to help each student. Kraul said they're also addressing other factors.

"We have increased our mental health services. We're doing trainings not only for school-based but parents as well," said Kraul.

The Florida A&M University College of Education is also stepping up, with a newly formed partnership with LCS that allows students who need extra help to get it directly from FAMU students.

"They're the students slipping through the cracks. At this point, we have at FAMU done some mitigating," said FAMU College of Education professor Rebecca Blankenship. "With our English language learning students through virtual tutoring that our students do with them.

Professor Blankenship said students living in low-income communities and those who are learning English as a second language are struggling the most.

"These are the creative solution we're working on to make sure all of our students, no matter their socio-economic status, their linguistic status, residential, are meeting the needs of as many children as we can at this time," said Blankenship.

Leon County Schools will have to submit its Student Intervention Plan to the Department of Health by Dec. 15.