CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Kingsville Independent School District hosted a roundtable on improving school attendance.
Several local leaders were involved in the conversation too.
"After the COVID pandemic we experienced in our country, we struggled to bring our students back and keep them more consistently enrolled in our campuses," said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction of Kingsville ISD Ada Besinaiz.
Kingsville ISD invited city, county and other local leaders to discuss how they can work together to fill up seats in the classroom.
"Who are the students, who's reaching out to the families, engaging them to return and also provide resources families may need to bring them back," she said.
Kingsville ISD attendance compliance officer Eric Gonzalez said another topic of discussion is why students might not be in class.
"Skipping, staying at home, staying at a friends house and of course there are transportation issues," he said. "Talking to a family yesterday, 'I can't take him to school, I don't have a car'. So you meet with the family and the administrators and you see how you can help.'"
Besinaiz said attendance changes all the time, and this school year -- more students were in class than expected. However, she wants to see that number steadily increase.
"All of our schools are at over 90% attendance," she said.
While attendance isn't an issue in Kingsville, Besinaiz said that having more students in the classrooms has long-term benefits.
"We do get monies for every student that is enrolled and seated in our classrooms. Secondly, we see a correlation between students that are absent and their achievement," she said.
Kingsville ISD is partnering with social services and local government to provide help to students and their families who have not come to class throughout the year.
"We do believe in wrap around services for children so in order to help them academically flourish and grow, we need to provide that," she said.
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