CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's almost been a month since school let out for Spring Break. With COVID-19 concerns closing campuses, students are now adjusting to the new norm of learning from home.
Since Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) facilites closed last month because of coronavirus safety concerns, the district hasn't heard from around 1,500 of its students.
That is about 4 percent of the district's total enrollment of 36,000 students.
“There could be a variety reasons," said CCISD Director of Communications Leanne Libby. "Certainly, this is just a stressful time for everyone. Perhaps the contact information had changed and we didn’t have the most recent information. That number may also include students who have moved out of the district."
Libby said the district is intensifying its efforts to contact those students who it has lost contact with during this extraordinary event.
"Our campuses did a fantastic job -- they really worked hard to reach out to our families," she said. "And, so, this week -- as of yesterday -- we were asking everybody to help us get the word out to make that extra push to get in touch with families. It does seem to be working."
CCISD has been reaching out through a variety of channels.
"We have done a lot of phone calls," she said. "Repeated phone calls. We placed it on campus and district social media. E-mail. Any contact information we have for those families."
District officials said they had a 94 percent attendance rate before Spring Break, which was the last time the district was holding face-to-face classes. But it's hard to compare that attendance to now, given the current circumstances.
"We do not want to go for a long period of time without our kids continuing to learn," she said. "We really want to encourage our families. We know it's so much right now and we know they're doing the best they can and we applaud them for that. We believe a routine even for the part of the day really conveys that sense of normalcy and can be helpful in a time like this."
The final day of the fifth six-weeks grading period is April 3.
Students who receive an incomplete grade have until April 24 to make up any missed assignments and get a passing grade.
"They’ll be working with everyone on a case-by-case basis, but just like a teacher grades assignments in class, they’re also continuing to assess our students," Libby said. "Making sure they make progress within this new framework.”
Teachers will also consider grades from before Spring Break.
The district recently distributed thousands of instructional packets for families who do not have access to technology or online learning.
"Our research by our instructional technology folks tells us many of our families do have that access. But for those who don't, we're there for them as well."
“We are ready and willing to work with anyone who needs help," Libby said. "We want to make sure we get in touch with them."
CCISD also wants to remind families that its curbside meal services are continuing. It has served around 75,000 meals so far.