With enthusiasm, Principal Jasmine Thurmond greeted students who returned to the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy classrooms on the morning of March 1. In the afternoon, he and his employees made phone calls in an effort to contact families who selected in-person learning but did not show up.
That day at the school located in Englewood, about 40% of the students who said they would be back were absent.
“We called just to say, ‘We miss you. We know they chose to go back [to teaching in person]. What else do they need? ‘”Thurmond said.
As Chicago reopens more classrooms in a difficult year, principals are faced with the difficult task of tracking down students, both those who signed up for in-person learning and did not show up and those who did not. they responded to messages from the district. The district has said that a “great outreach campaign” is underway. In the days leading up to Chicago’s biggest reopening drive, 15,000 elementary and middle school students had yet to respond by saying what their plans are.
Thurmond’s team came across a litany of reasons why some families who signed up for in-person learning didn’t show up on the first day: Some families had gotten out of the routine of school in person and fell asleep. In response, Thurmond arranged phone calls to wake them up.
This article was originally posted on As Chicago Schools Reopen, Principals Search Thousands of Absent Students