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Students Missing: Thousands have not logged into schools remotely

Sunnyside and TUSD are trying to track down students
Sunnyside teacher engaged in remote learning
Posted at 8:36 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 17:59:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz — A new problem for Tucson's two largest school districts.

Nearly 2,000 students are missing from the Sunnyside district, and TUSD is still trying to track down about 4,000 students who haven’t completed their enrollment.

Sunnyside reports those students haven’t checked in yet, and now the district is trying to find out why.

Sunnyside is now into week two of the start of school. Teachers are taking roll call – remotely -- but about 10 percent of the district’s students have not logged into class --

Superintendent Steve Holmes has the count.

“You think about 16,000 students you're talking about 1,600 to 1,800 students at we're still tracking down," he said.

The superintendent can’t assume the students left the district, because they’re still registered.

“We’re making calls and we’re making contact, but they haven’t been withdrawn. That is what’s interesting. So they’re still registered with us. They just haven't shown up,” said Holmes.

Districts have said there are a number of reasons for students not checking into their classes -- families have moved to different schools or cities, they are facing a financial crisis, or struggling with online devices and access.

“We're in that navigating, just what is happening with each of those families, which is consuming a lot of time and very well worthy time for our staff to figure out where they're at,” said Holmes.

TUSD says there are about 4,000 families who enrolled, but they haven’t responded to phone calls, emails and texts about their remote learning options.

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says the students have not completed online enrollment. The district is boosting staff at schools in case the students show up on campuses on Monday and Tuesday. Monday, Aug. 17, is when the governor had given schools the green light to start in-person learning.

Trujillo says he doesn’t know how many of the students know what’s going on and are just going to show up physically at the campuses.