TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson Unified School District Board reveals this school year saw the single largest one-year decline in district enrollment experienced to date.
The largest losses are seen in kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade.
Though TUSD said they have an Enrollment Recovery Task Force in place to get students back.
TUSD's Chief Technology Officer Blaine Young says the pandemic has been a major contributing factor in this sharp decline.
“You’ll see that with 2,784 less students on the 40th day, that was a decline of 6,3 percent in district enrollment,” Young said during the virtual board meeting.
Aside from COVID safety concerns, he added technology was also a big factor in students not coming back.
“Families did struggle with technology related challenges and we know that was a contributor to what families experienced and in some cases, choices they made,” he said.
Remote and online learning also made it difficult for students to stick around.
“The only grade level where we say an increase was at the 10th grade. You’ll see there was a 2.2% increase for this school year,” he added.
Here’s what Leslie Lenhart, TUSD’s Communications and Media Relations Director says the Enrollment Recovery Task Force is doing to increase enrollment.
“We’re very proactive at the beginning of the school year in connecting with families whose students were enrolled but had not shown up to class in the first ten days,” Lenhart said during the virtual meeting.
They’ve also called parents and sent them emails with tips for remote learning.
“Our schools proactively reached out to our at risk families,” she added.
Lenhart says there’s still more to be done, including providing welcome and virtual tour videos, for parents and students to increase enrollment.