26% of LPS remote learners had failing grades, but some parents say their students thrived learning from home

Published: May. 24, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over the course of the school year, 10/11 NOW talked a lot about Lincoln Public Schools students struggling while learning from home, but we’ve also had several families reach out and tell us their student thrived.

One of them is Roper Elementary fourth grader Winter, who had always loved to learn. Her mom, Amber Waddell said that didn’t change learning from home.

“She excelled very well, she was very self motivated,” Waddell said.

Waddell is immunocompromised and opted to have Winter and Justice learn from home until spring break.

At the peak of the LPS remote learning program 9,600 students were learning from home. Students like Michelle Howell Smith’s fifth grader.

“We chose remote learning because we knew there’d be a lot of kids and staff in school so to provide extra space for social distancing we opted to do that and it worked for our family,” Howell Smith said.

Her daughter, too, excelled.

“We made better progress on her goals this year than in any previous year,” Smith said.

Not every student had this experience. In fact, 26% of LPS remote learners failed two or more classes in the fall semester.

Waddell saw the difference in student performances right in her own home, with her fifth grader Justice.

“She struggled to connect to other students in the class, we had to really push to get the homework done,” Waddell said.

Both families are hoping to have their kids back in school next fall.

LPS is planning to offer a remote only school for elementary and middle school students. About 500 are signed up.

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