SAN ANTONIO – While San Antonio ISD teachers have been engaging with students online during the coronavirus pandemic, some children have not been logging on at all.
“We have a team of people who’s both on the campus and at the district level, whose mission is to find these students,” said Patti Salzmann, SAISD chief academic officer.
There are currently 48,293 students enrolled at SAISD and the district has been able to connect with 96.6% of its students during the pandemic.
“Preliminary what we’re seeing is that many of those students are either, they have moved and so we can’t locate them, or they’re in an alternative placement like the Juvenile Justice Center,” Salzmann said.
Salzmann said some students might be getting paper copies of classwork and are not logging online. She said after calling the students and making home visits, some are still nowhere to be found.
The disconnect issue is not unique to SAISD.
Southside ISD has been in touch with 95% of students.
Edgewood ISD has been able to connect with 98% of students.
Harlandale ISD said out of 13,421 enrolled students, officials have connected with 98% of students.
“We might have three weeks of school left, but we’re looking for these students,” said Richard Marroquin, Harlandale Middle School principal.
The Texas Education Agency issued guidance and best practices related to locating these so-called uncontactable students during the pandemic.
The list of recommendations includes creating teams that can conduct home visits, creating incentives for students and engaging with the district’s homeless liaison personnel.
“Our teachers are worried about these students and so are our administrators. So they are on everyone’s top priority list to make sure that we can find them,” Salzmann said.