PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) – Volunteers from Broward County Public Schools, the Broward Teachers Union and organizations across the country came together this weekend to track down students who were absent from campuses during the current school year.
The bags were ready and the volunteers were ready to leave on Sunday for the second day in a row.
âWe have identified children. We are seeing others in other schools, âsaid Rosalind Osgood, Broward County School Board chairperson,â but we are sending a message to the community about the importance of students to us.
âIt is very important that students are in school and receive the education they need to prepare them for their future success,â said BCPS Acting Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.
âWe are trying to reconnect with students who have not yet physically returned to campuses,â said BTU President Anna Fusco.
Educators say the COVID-19 pandemic has changed family dynamics for many households.
About 6,000 Broward County students are missing, while about 5,000 others are excessively absent.
âWe know very well that we are in the middle of a pandemic, don’t we? And so, there is the fear that is there. We know it exists, âCartwright said. “We also know that there are individuals who are looking for ways to re-engage with us.”
âWe are here, we care about us, we are ready,â Fusco said. ” We are back. We want to invite them back to schools and let them know it’s safe.
After a telephone campaign to reach these students and their families, the volunteers went door to door to re-engage throughout the weekend.
âWe started off with a phone campaign, so this is actually a further step,â Cartwright said. “We will continue our efforts to locate our children as we want them to return to our places in Broward County public schools.”
Their message is simple: it’s sure to be back in class.
âWe make them wear masks, we have air filters being changed,â Fusco said. âThey work on the roofs, they work on the air conditioning. Social distancing is a challenge because you have so many kids, but the kids follow protocol. “
State law states that children between the ages of 6 and 16 must be enrolled in an educational institution. These educators from across the United States are making sure families know that every missed day counts.
“Even in the midst of this pandemic, we must all prioritize educating our children and getting them back to school where they can have the support and services they need to be successful academically,” Osgood said.
Broward school officials said they made more than 11,000 calls trying to contact the students. They found that many families have chosen alternative education programs, but they still need to hear from others.
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