COVID-19 school closure raised some students' grades at high school in Ahwatukee

2020 has brought some strange times for graduating high school seniors, with the COVID-19 pandemic changing not only the academic landscape for students, but for faculty and teachers as well.

"It was a learning curve for every educator I’m sure nationwide," said Tony Ramseyer, who is the dropout prevention and attendance coordinator at Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee.

Ramseyer says it was all hands on deck when COVID-19 caused schools to close

"Our district gave out over 2,500 computers laptops," said Ramseyer.

Online curriculum took over, and students’ grades could not decrease lower than what they left campus with. For the next two months, Ramseyer says his job was to communicate with students and parents to keep them motivated. An opportunity to earn a two-percent bump in each class each week.

The freshmen capitalized.

"47% of our kids raised their grades at least one grade throughout the course of the time frame that we gave them. 67% of our sophomores raised their grade," said Ramseyer.

Juniors and seniors also raised their grades as well, according to Ramseyer.

"47% of our juniors, and then I went through, and 57% of our seniors actually raised their grade from an 'F', to where they weren’t passing before, to where they got an opportunity to pass and earn credit for their class," said Ramseyer.

This means more than half the seniors initially failing actually bounced back with online classes during the pandemic.

Ramseyer is proud of the team effort

"All we can do is communicate, to the best of our ability, how much we care for their kids, and what we wanted to do to see them be successful," said Ramseyer.

While dropout rates were not available, FOX 10 has learned the graduation rate at Mountain Pointe High School is consistently at  90% to 95%