COVID: Is the Damage Permanent or Temporary?

COVID: Is the Damage Permanent or Temporary?

Chandler Pallen, Hour 2

High school is one of the most important parts of the education system and is just as important in the Stevens Point School District. SPASH, workplaces, and everyday life has taken a toll from the COVID pandemic. COVID has impacted SPASH with masks, temporary lock downs and virtual “E-learning.” Like every school in the state of Wisconsin, SPASH is rated on it’s success in teaching, tests, attendance and graduation of students. Although SPASH’s score is not accessible for the years COVID took place (2019-2020 school year through 2020-2021). The change in overall score is noticeable after COVID. So what has caused such a change, and is the impact COVID left on SPASH recoverable?   

Overall Scores

 The statistics on SPASH are according to the: Wisconsin department of Public Instruction. Between the 2016 to 2017 school year, the overall score was 66 out of 100. 2018 to 2019 was 68.9 out of 100. While in the 2021 to 2022 school year, the overall score was 57.3. There are many things that go into these scores though. These categories are school growth, dropout rates, engagement indicators, on-track/post secondary readiness, attendance rates, and chronic absenteeism. COVID caused many students to be quarantined at home, and while COVID absences were excused, it’s not like they didn’t happen. Attendance rates were lower than the previous years as well, and it reflects onto all of the other measurements. Because students need to be at school in order to learn.

Student Achievement

In 2021 to 2022 SPASH student achievement was down 2.1 points compared to the 2018 to 2019 year. The biggest subject being mathematics as it was down 5.7 points by compared to 2018 to 2019. Of course points can go down at any time for plenty of reasons. One reason in this change could tie in with lowering attendance rates. And without COVID being a common problem at SPASH in the current year, it isn’t hard to see this drop rising back to average in the coming years.

Economic disadvantage 

The SPASH student body has seen a 5% increase in economic disadvantage between 2021 to 2022’s and 2018 to 2019’s percentage. This statistic shows that 37.2% of the student body is economically disadvantaged. Now, this percentage has no affect on SPASH’s overall score. But it can totally affect attendance rates. According to Markus Klein from ScienceDirect;  The only study that investigated the association between economic disadvantage and multiple types of absenteeism found economic disadvantage is connected with both an increased risk of truancy and sickness-related absencense. So it is very applicable that economic disadvantage can and does negatively affect student attendance rates. Which also affect student achievement, growth and graduation rates. 


It is not easy to predict how SPASH’s overall score will differ between this year and last year. But with COVID essentially gone from Wisconsin and surrounding states, it’s not hard to see a rise in attendance without lock downs or quarantines. Which can also mean an increase in scores in all subjects.