HISD’s annual Grads Within Reach walk took place on Sept. 12, 2015, and volunteers convinced more than 80 students to come back to school and continue their education.
Almost 500 volunteers fanned out across the city, visiting the last-known residences of students who had not shown up for class this year and leaving information on how to re-enroll if no one came to the door.
Eighty-one students agreed to return to class and re-enroll this year — almost two dozen more than in 2014 — and greater than half of those came from just three campuses: Furr/REACH, 22; Westbury, 13; and Austin, 11.
“A number of factors could explain why those schools had such high success rates,” said HISD Director of Dropout Prevention Bea Marquez. “It might be anything from the persistence of the volunteers to students and parents having been contacted multiple times by campus personnel or student case workers on campus who are very familiar with those students. In the case of Westbury and many other schools, district and campus staff conducted home visits throughout the school start window before the event.”