By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Fall report cards are out, giving parents a good look at the first semester of a school year that started in a pandemic.

But if your student’s grades are not adding up, you’re not the only parent asking questions. Major grade changes could be a red flag.

When Shemar Knox isn’t tending to one of his many fish tanks, he has his nose in his computer doing homework. And while math hasn’t always been his strong point, he’s now bringing home solid A’s.

“I have it two days out of the week, I do the homework that same day. I have a test every Monday. It comes pretty easy now,” Knox said.

But it’s not easy for everyone. Laylani Heard, usually a top student, is now suddenly missing the mark.

“I was doing so good in face-to-face learning, but when it came time to some, ‘we’re going to be doing this on the computer screen,’ I’m failing, I mean I’m getting my grades up, but I’m failing,” Heard said.

Her grandfather said it’s hard for the ninth-grader to learn physics over Zoom.

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Bonnie Tam with Huntington Learning Center says a major grade change during distance learning should be a red flag.

“A lot of teachers I’ve talked to have said, we’ve had to change the standard because we’re teaching in a different environment,” Tam said. 

While it’s a pleasant surprise to bring home A’s, Shemar wants to do more than make the grade.

“I’m leary of it because I do hope that I’m getting everything that I need because, like I said, I want to major in engineering so I have to have that stuff in my head,” Knox said.

His mother, Tamara Knox, worries about the support available to her son.

“If he does fall behind what kind of support will he have? That’s a big concern of mine,” she said.

Now that report cards are out, parent-teacher conferences come next. Experts say that’s your chance to start asking questions to make sure your child is up to speed in all of their subjects.