CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, school districts are still working to recover pre-pandemic attendance numbers.
Sinton ISD has been working diligently with parents to make sure that truancy is top of mind. The district's superintendent, Andy Reddock, spoke candidly with 3NEWS about the drop in attendance he's observed in the district.
"Schools across the state understand that issues will come up that the students need to take care of," he said. "But it's important that we communicate, and we have plans to address those absences when they do need to occur so that the student has a positive re-entry when do come back to the school."
Over the past year, Reddock has been working with parents to instill the importance of having their students inside the classroom.
"Last year was my first full school year in the district," Reddock said. "We were running attendance roughly 4 – 5% lower as far as the attendance rate than pre-COVID-19 numbers."
Reddock says the district has seen an enrollment increase during the fall with the help of initiatives and incentives for students, like rewards and parties.
"At our elementary campuses they enjoy that part of it," he said. "They get excited about it."
The district is working with city officials and the justice of the peace if and when attendance numbers get out of hand.
Director of Health and Safety Services, William Stout, has been vocal with the community to address truancy concerns.
"During COVID-19, where you could come to school some days and other days you weren’t quite feeling well, you could join online," Stout said. "We’re having to get parents and students out of that mindset. Where school is in-person fully."
Stout has been working with the district to get back to pre-pandemic attendance numbers.
"When you miss a day or two days of school, you fall behind your other classmates," he said. "And then you're not only missing those days, you're also missing those assignments. But you're struggling to catch up with your other peers."