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HISD Superintendent goes door-to-door in push to get students re-enrolled amid pandemic

Houston ISD held its annual Students Within Reach Walk Saturday, hoping to get students back in the classroom.

HOUSTON — The pandemic has left many kids either behind, or in some cases, no longer enrolled in school at all.

Houston ISD held its annual Students Within Reach Walk Saturday, hoping to get those students back in the classroom.

Every step HISD and Superintendent Millard House take is one they hope is closer to getting students who haven’t returned to campus to re-enroll.

House went door-to-door himself on Saturday as part of HISD’s annual Students Within Reach Walk.

“No judgement. We just want to do what’s necessary to make sure that we help and provide everything we can for her to be successful,” House said.

RELATED: 'Trying to get children back to school' | Districts go door-to-door in efforts to boost enrollment

According to House, more than 5,000 HISD students grades 9 to 12 need to be “re-engaged” at the start of the school year.

As of mid-September, a little more than 1,000 students had returned to school.

For parents like Mario Gonzalez, concerns over COVID-19 kept his daughter from getting back in the classroom.

“We’ve got to get through it,” Gonzalez said.

But the visit from House had her looking forward to getting back to what she’s missed.

“Friends, class and education,” she said.

House said the mask requirement is helping the district reduce the spread of COVID. The district reporting that less than 1 percent of students and staff are testing positive.

And as for those fears of falling behind, trustees say schools will get kids caught up.

“We are set up to recapture that time that was lost last year,” said Kathy Blueford Daniels, District II trustee.

The shared goal is getting kids back in class.

“I’m sure everyone in Houston wants the same,” House said.

House said HISD has seen an increase in new high school students enrolling and that the district’s current enrollment is between 190,000 and 191,000 students, but that HISD is on track to reach its enrollment goal of 197,000 students.