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Do you feel disconnected? Tell us how your relationship with the school has changed this year

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After more than a year of pandemic-induced disconnect, many students and teachers saw the 2021-2022 school year as the first chance to return to the classroom and get back to normal. But what does normal look like?

Nearly half of all students in Los Angeles have been “chronically absent” from school, missing out on much-needed weeks of instruction and time with their peers.

California standardized tests show that students read and write below grade level, and some eighth graders have the mathematical knowledge of fifth graders.

And outside of academics, kids struggle to stay mentally and emotionally afloat. Nearly half of high school students said they felt sad and hopeless during the pandemic, while 63% said they had experienced an emotional crisis. The mental health crisis has prompted California lawmakers to invest billions of dollars in schools to find mental health professionals.

As the school year draws to a close, KCRW wants to hear from students, parents, and teachers across Southern California. How has your relationship to school changed? Did you thrive during these tumultuous times? Or have you struggled to get through the days? What needs are not being considered by your school district or local government?

Share your story with us below or send a voice memo to [email protected] Be sure to include your name and phone number, and you might hear from our reporters.

Not sure how to send a voice memo? Check out this handy NPR guide!