Schools that were already struggling are now drowning? Or are just still struggling? Yes, schools that were down are having a little tougher time getting back up but chances are, they weren't magically on their way to Superior and Covid knocked them completely out. And no, I don't measure programs by their UIL. Some of the best teaching and students most in need of band are getting 4's by UIL standards. But they have great teachers and are learning so much more about life than that 4 would indicate. So maybe it is putting UIL ratings in their right place as part of this discussion as well.
If you follow this board much you would know kids have been getting worse and worse for the last 30 years. I've always said kids were kids. Are they more immature now than they were? Or are you older and less aware of how kids actually act? While you have aged 3 or 4 years the kids sitting in your classes have not. They are the same age they always have been. So I stand by teach to the rubric and teach to fundamental standards. I would argue the top 5 to 10 bands in nearly every classification sure aren't using that excuse. We have to stop accepting excuses. Put your goals in front of you, WRITE them down where everyone can see them and take one step at a time. And if the kids didn't help with those goals, you are wasting your time. Maybe it's time to evaluate partially what the kids want in a band program too. But that's a whole different discussion.