LOS ANGELES - On the first day back to school, the Los Angeles Unified School District reported that 50,000 students were absent.
That is about 11% of the LAUSD population.
The nation's second largest school district is having major issues with enrollment. Over 20,000 students were not enrolled for 2022-23 school year.
According to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, last school year about 50% of students were chronically absent. He said the biggest loss of enrollment is in the youngest-aged students. The district has seen a 9,000 student decline in TK and Kindergarten enrollment.
Carvalho is dedicating 600 staff members to reengage students who are chronically absent. On the second day of school the district reported a 91.8% attendance rate and on the third day that number went up again to 92.8%.
"After two years plus of pandemic, that created social isolation stressor in the lives of students. Children in our community who lost relatives, who’ve seen absolute devastation. Huge unprecedented, historic, academic learning loss of opportunity with instructional days that were absolutely lost to many of our kids," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.
He says in many of these cases students took care of their relatives or worked jobs to help their families during the pandemic. COVID infections also played a role in some students not returning to school.
Carvalho vows the district will be consistent in making sure the kids show up to class.
Just days before school started, Carvalho visited the homes of students who faced challenges impacting their classroom attendance. The visit is a part of the iAttend LAUSD Campaign to improve the district's student attendance rate.