Groups of teachers and administrators are scouring Texas’ Pharr-San Juan-Alama school district on their day off, searching for students that have not returned to school.
It’s a program called Count Down to Zero, Drop Out Recovery.
“When we receive the folders, we look at the address, we look at the school where they should be enrolled at, we get together in groups of two or three, we go out and make the home visit,” said Principal Eleticia Nava of Ida C. Escobar Elementary School.
She, and others, don’t take any short cuts.
They physically go out and knock on doors.
Nava’s group is searching for senior Elsa Sanchez.
The first home is empty and the neighbors confirmed the Sanchez family no longer lives there.
Luckily, at the second address, the volunteers made contact with Sanchez’s parents.
After chatting they find out why Sanchez isn’t back in school.
“This lady is married and has a small child, she is working she has a job in this case, basically probably a close to minimum wage job,” said Dr. Daniel King, PSJA Superintendent.
Sanchez’s parents believe with some encouragement their daughter will go back to school.
“Yes, I think so, I think so, she will go back to school. You know, if they offer child care, she could manage going to school and work at the same time,” said mother Angelica Sanchez.
The school district does have child care options, and they will even go as far as helping Sanchez with adjusting her work schedule.
“We will talk to her employer to see if we can try to work out her hours, where she can attend school regularly,” said Dr. King.
PSJA will hit the streets again this Saturday, it’s their goal to find the remaining 343 missing students.