dallas isd

Dallas ISD Hopes Home Visits Will Get Some Seniors on Track to Graduate

The district is ramping up efforts to reconnect with students who've been absent a lot, and to find ways to help them focus on school.

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Dallas ISD staff and volunteers went door-to-door Saturday to try to help seniors who’ve been missing class get back on track. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the school district has noticed a troubling trend — increased absences.

This month, district teams started reaching out to students and parents by phone, email, and text as part of an effort called Operation Comeback.

On Saturday, they took it a step further and visited homes. 

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Teams met at W.W. Samuell High School on Saturday morning with an action plan. 

Among the group was school principal Jennifer Tecklenburg.

“I think sometimes our kids feel really defeated," she said. "So if they haven’t had success with engaging in school and connecting or coming to the building, then they feel like they can’t pick that up again."   

Vincent Reyes, Dallas ISD assistant superintendent for school leadership, said while Operation Comeback is a K-12 initiative, the home visits specifically target seniors.

"... We need to get them graduated,” Reyes said.

He said some of the seniors are missing class because they work and support their family. 

Reyes knocked on doors and left behind resource materials to help seniors get re-engaged. 

He had a message for them: 

”Guys, you’ve taken Senior Skip Day to the extreme. Come on man. It’s time to come back to school. We need you in school, we need you to cross off graduation. We need you to have the diploma. That diploma will help you kick down a bunch of doors,” Reyes said.

The district says it’ll connect students with counselors, technology — whatever it takes — to help them focus on their education. 

Teams will be doing home visits every Saturday in February. 

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