John Williams, founder of the Champion City Mentor Program in Brockton, Mass. speaks with 16-year-old Glen about why he hasn’t logged into school since September. (Meg Woolhouse/GBH News)

John Williams, who works on behalf of the public schools in Brockton, wanted to know why 16-year-old Glen hadn’t logged into his remote classes since the school year began in September.

So he called Glen’s mother, who said she’s tried and tried to get her son out of bed and online, but he won’t listen. It was 11 a.m., she noted, and Glen was still in bed.

Within 20 minutes, Williams was sitting at Anna Jamison’s kitchen table in her tiny apartment, which smelled like incense and Lysol.

“I need him to be back in school [in person],” she said. “I’m not liking this. I get him up every morning for his classes. It’s like five minutes later, I go back in, and he’s like this.”

Jamison mimicked her son asleep.

“I’m like, okay, this is not working out,” she said.

A groggy Glen emerged in the doorway. Avoiding eye contact, he slumped into a seat at the kitchen table.

While officials have often measured school progress by the number of laptops and connections doled out to students during the pandemic, home visits in places like Brockton tell a different story. National surveys of educators find that student absenteeism has risen by 10 percent whether schools are in-person, hybrid or remote. But the losses are as high as 12 percent — double the rate for in-person learning a year ago — in remote classrooms.

Read the rest of this story at GBH’s website.