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This year is more critical than ever for districts to communicate differently with families.
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LA Times July 30, 2022 Headline:
L.A. Unified estimates tens of thousands of students are missing from back-to-school rosters
Story by Howard Blume, Staff Writer
Two weeks before school starts, Los Angeles Unified Supt. Alberto M. Carvalho estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 students are not enrolled or stopped attending last year, with the problem most pronounced in the youngest grades.
As school officials work to identify and enroll the children, the district also is scrambling to fill about 900 classroom teaching positions and to find more than 200 bus drivers. Carvalho said Friday he is optimistic that most of the vacancies will be filled by the Aug. 15 start of school.
The superintendent’s estimate of missing students is based on outreach efforts by district staff to families and on assessments from outside groups.
Carvalho said he personally contacted or attempted to reach about 50 students who were chronically absent and their families in order to better understand the problem and asked 25 members of his senior staff to do the same.
Based on the discussions, he said there may be even more than 20,000 missing students, but numbers are hard to lock down. Several students in his outreach group told him of school-age siblings who were not in attendance at times last year.
“Some older, some very young. Some revealed that they themselves were caring for their younger siblings and that they themselves were working one, two jobs,” Carvalho said. “And they told me of many other kids who are in the same condition. That’s just not acceptable.”
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