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Pulling out all the stops to get kids back in school

2013 September 20
by HISD Communications

Exactly one week from today, an important accounting will take place. Any student who has not reported to school so far this year will be counted as a dropout.

There are many reasons why we can’t locate students, and not all point to a student who has dropped out – addresses change, and students move away or enroll in other programs but have not shown up in the state database yet. So we must investigate, track, knock on doors, ask questions, and provide support to campus-based staff during this crucial window of time.

That’s why we launched Youth Watch, a dropout-recovery program that enlists the help of everyone in the district, from principals to parents, administrators to students. Collectively, we all need to commit to recovering these students to improve their futures and that of future generations. Since school started, we have been working to identify and reach out to these students. In the past week alone, staff members have made more than 180 home visits. In one case, a T. H. Rogers MS student had undergone spinal surgery over the summer and was not cleared to return to school. At Austin HS, a student who received a telephone call from HISD returned to school that same day. So far, about two-thirds of students who were missing for various reasons have been recovered and re-enrolled.

Preparing every child in HISD for success is a district priority. Making sure that all of our students are in class is vitally important to us, because teachers can’t teach and students can’t learn if they are not in school. Dropout prevention and recovery is an ongoing effort that involves everyone in the district.

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