I hope people (mainly head directors of districts) will understand the unique situation that this year's 8th graders are in. Of course, I'm not making excuses, BUT, you have a class who:
-only had about half of a beginner year
-likely lost a lot due to the chaos of having to sign up for 7th grade electives from home
-experienced a 7th grade year full of God knows what (for us it was a full year, but a full year of madness)
-has been trying to play catch up so much that they maybe never fully learned how to be responsible, be leaders, etc.
-possibly lost even more people going into this year because students weren't motivated to stay in after a year with no trips, in person performances, or a lot of the things that make band, well, BAND!