By Kerry Benefield, The Press Democrat, October 29, 2020
Nearly 4 in 10 high school students in Sonoma County have one or more failing grades and more than 7 in 10 say they feel deep anxiety about the future, a one-two punch that prompted educators across the county to convene an unprecedented meeting Tuesday to find the root of the problem and correct it before the graduation prospects of thousands of students are imperiled.
About 120 teachers, counselors, principals and superintendents met for approximately four hours Tuesday morning to address a worrying spike in both failing grades and mental health issues among secondary students.
“We talked a lot about the impact of these first six weeks, how difficult it was for some students to transition to distance learning based on their home situation, their internet connection, whether they were evacuated,” Windsor High teacher Pete Stefanisko said after the meeting. “The emotional stuff came up over and over again.”