Parents enroll their children in remote learning as COVID-19 cases rise

EVERETT. Wash. — As students head back into the classroom and COVID-19 cases are rising, parents are starting to enroll their children in remote learning.

On the second day of in-person learning in the Everett School District, registration for the district’s virtual academy has closed.

In Pierce County, Tacoma Public Schools has an online option as well. So far 1,500 students have signed up. Students attending virtually are assigned a TPS teacher for all their courses and then learning is personalized by those teachers.

“Tacoma online is actually its own full school this year, so that is one of the differences from last year, is that Tacoma online -- we’ve filed with the state -- it’s its own stand-alone school,” Kathryn McCarthy with TPS said.

Some students KIRO 7 spoke with said going remote did not hold them back, while others said it hurt more than it helped.

“I got four As and a B. My grades are awesome,” said student Keana Navaar.

“There were way too many distractions at home,” said student Isaac Balmer.

Earlier this week, TPS administrators said grades suffered in the virtual format, showing evidence of the so-called “COVID slide.” KIRO 7 obtained data from TPS that showed that during the 2019-2020 school year, there were more than 7,000 failing grades.

But for 2020-2021 that number reached nearly 114,000.