Just over 4,300 Clark County School District students had no contact with the district from the time schools were closed on March 15 to the end of the school year on May 20, representatives said Friday.
Under guidance from the Nevada Department of Education, the district was charged with contacting each student at least once per week during distance learning and documenting both contacts and noncontacts.
The district came up short during the first week it tracked such communication, with approximately one-third of all students, or 100,898, marked absent.
This rate steadily improved in subsequent weeks, according to weekly reports submitted to the department, before eventually peaking during the week of May 4, with 261,153 students in contact with the district, 55,334 marked absent and 7,300 with documented exemptions that prevented them from accessing distance learning, including a lack of access to a computer or a car.
Attendance began to trend down slightly the next week, with about 6,000 fewer students in contact with teachers despite fewer students reporting trouble accessing distance learning material.
During the week of May 18 — an abbreviated week with the final day of school on Wednesday, May 20 —170,152 students were in contact with teachers while there was no contact with 150,217 students.
Attendance officers and social workers were dispatched beginning April 23 to find missing students by going door-to-door, with some officers reporting that incorrect contact information was one major reason students couldn’t be reached, according to Mike Barton, the district’s chief college, career, equity and school choice officer.
In a May 7 update, Barton said officers had reached 1,280 students out of 2,362 targeted by the initiative.
In a year-end total provided by the district, 4,370 of the district’s 323,787 students — an enrollment approximately equivalent to one high school and one middle school put together — could not be reached by teachers, attendance officers or social workers during any week.
The remaining 319,417 were reached at least once during the distance learning period.
With the school year over, teachers and attendance officers will not continue to try to reach students through the summer, district representatives said.
The district will continue Chromebook distribution on a targeted basis, Superintendent Jesus Jara said in a town hall last week. As of June 1, the district had deployed 111,479 of the devices, which students will be allowed to keep over the summer to use for virtual learning.