Thousands of San Antonio students have not returned to classrooms this semester, school officials say

San Antonio schools providing social, emotional support to students

SAN ANTONIO – The school year is just getting started, but districts say thousands of students haven’t shown up to class.

Patricia Baumer, executive director of the Office of Access and Enrollment Services for San Antonio ISD, said the staff has been working hard to track down these students.

“We have been doing home visits, from the elementary to the middle to the academy and high schools -- even at the end of the last school year, throughout the summer and even through now -- continuously with the efforts of phone banking and calling, as well to reassure families that it’s OK and safe to return,” Baumer said.

Baumer said while the district doesn’t have an exact number of how many students have not shown up, it has been able to connect with some families.

“We have been able to get students to re-enroll. We’ve also found that a lot of their -- for a lot of students, their circumstances have changed. So they’ve moved. They’ve changed school districts,” Baumer said.

San Antonio ISD said about 70 students have left the district for homeschooling.

“For some of them, if the circumstances change, if the COVID cases decline or when the vaccine becomes available, then they have told us they will be coming back,” Baumer said.

She said the district wants to provide a better educational experience for its students.

“We really want to make sure that our students are receiving that educational enrichment that we know is important for their development,” Baumer said of SAISD.

Baumer said SAISD also wants to ensure students have the social and emotional support they need to continue growing through this pandemic.

“The thing we’re offering the most is that reassurance that the schools are safe,” Baumer said.

Other districts in our area

Earlier this year, KSAT reported on a team from Northside ISD that paid home visits to families. The district said close to 3,000 students have not returned to the classroom during the fall semester of the new school year.

Northside ISD said students could have transferred or switched over to homeschooling.

At North East ISD, roughly 3,000 have not shown up to school.

Southside ISD said 550 students are no-shows, and 60 students left the district for homeschooling.

About the Author:

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.