HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County is trying to track down more than seven thousand students who are not enrolled in classes this year.
Hillsborough School Superintendent Addison Davis briefed the Tampa City Council on COVID-19 related issues on Thursday.
The “missing students” was one area Davis covered as the students are not currently attending classes online, in-person, or enrolled in any other program.
“They are not enrolled in any our school district schools, programs, home school, anywhere we would able to identify their whereabouts,” said Dr. Myrna Hogue who supervises school social work services.
Now it’s up to her team to find out where the students are.
“We start trying to find out where they are, so starting with phone calls to the parents, emergency contacts, social workers will even go to the last known addresses of students.. Trying to find where they are,” said Hogue.
Many students move out of the school district and even out of state with their families every year and parents are not required to report they’ve moved but it does create problems for the school district staff who have to find out the student’s status.
“It’s important for many reasons, they need to be in school, they need to get an education but it’s also important because we want to make sure they’re safe,” said Hogue.
Davis also told city council members 2.6 percent of classroom teachers have not returned to work in Hillsborough County.
Rob Kriete with the Hillsborough County Classroom teachers association says more than 1,000 teachers in Hillsborough County have elected to retire, resign or take a leave absence.
“We’ve seen almost double the number of teachers that we see in a normal school year in terms of the teachers not coming back to the classroom,” said Kriete.
Many have retired because of long-standing plans but Kriete says some have retired or resigned out of concerns due to the coronavirus.
“So those who have medical concerns are certainly finding different ways to make a living or not teach,” said Kriete.