DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One week after virtual classes began, Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said the district has thousands of fewer students than it projected.
“We’re still 13,000 to 14,000 short of what we were expecting and so that is a number that is concerning to me.”
He said the district budgeted for 151,000 students, but only 137,000 have attended online.
“Even my conversations with other urban superintendents and suburban superintendents, our numbers are even bigger percentage wise than what I’ve seen with other districts.”
Hinojosa said about four thousand of the students who haven’t shown up are in Pre-K.
Other students who aren’t in virtual classes attend struggling schools.
“That’s why we had all the additional resources on our ACE campuses and give them support, so that they’re probably not as motivated as some of our other students. So we have to our teachers, and our principals create that motivation, and that inspiration.”
Hinojosa said some students may be having technology-related issues, and others are testing the system.
“They’re not here learning, that’s going to create some academic problems for us down the road. So that’s probably the biggest concern that I’ve had.”
The district last saw students in person class in March, six months ago.
So Hinojosa said they’re now testing them to see what they actually learned virtually.
“Now we know which ones are further behind. So now we can go back start catching them up, we’re going to be testing students for the next three weeks so that by the end of the month, we know we would have tested every student to find out how far behind they have fallen.”
The district is asking all parents to return surveys so the district can plan for the number of students will return to in-person classes beginning for most students in early October.
Sixth and ninth graders can begin in-person classes in late September to get accustomed to their new campuses.
Hinojosa said as more parents have returned the surveys, more want their students to return to school.
“We’ve gone from 20% response rate on the surveys to 50% response on the surveys. And we’ve gone from 44% in person to 55% in person. So the ones that have answered, and half of them have answered over half of them 55% of them want in, in person instruction.”
The district is hoping the rest of the parents will return the surveys this week.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SUPERINTENDENT HINOJOSA HERE