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Spring ISD Teams Up with Microsoft to Encourage Students to Return to School

Spring ISD staff, administrators and volunteers took part in the 2019 Success Walk with hundreds of visits with families across the district. Spring ISD file photos

HOUSTON - Sept. 4, 2020 - Spring ISD is teaming up with Microsoft in a collaborative initiative to reach out to students who have not returned to school through the district’s Family Outreach program.

The district will kick off its “Return to Learn” campaign on Sept. 8, focusing on the re-enrollment of dropouts and non-graduates, as well as current students with excessive absences. The district is aiming to reach all Spring ISD students and ensure they return to school by selecting either the district’s Safety-First In-Person or Empowered Learning At-Home option.

“We want to ensure that all of our students have the proper materials for remote learning, and have access to other district materials and support that they would normally be able to quickly access on campus,” said Spring ISD Director of Student Affairs Thomas Graham Jr.

Under normal circumstances, Spring ISD staff, administrators and volunteers would set out during the district’s annual Success Walk to visit neighborhoods and touch base with students and their families via phone. However, due to the pandemic, the majority of the contact will be done by Microsoft volunteers through a phone bank operating Sept. 8-12 at the Spring ISD Community Engagement Center. Campus teams will also visit homes throughout the week and on Saturday, while practicing new social distancing protocols.

Graham says the program is a follow-up to surveys sent out over the spring and summer months to help determine the needs of students and families throughout the district.

“We are especially trying to reach out to our special education students to ensure that they have everything they need for remote learning, or if we need to get them back in-person,” said Graham.

In addition to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Family Outreach program aims to address other possible reasons students may not be coming to school, such as poverty and homelessness, or a lack of resources. The program will help connect families to community resources and district services, including Community Youth Services (CYS), counselors, nursing staff and food access.

“These unprecedented times place an even bigger focus on attendance,” said Chief Academic Officer Khechara Bradford. “We want every student learning every day because we know that’s the key to success in school.”

What: 2020 Return to Learn Campaign

When: Sept. 8 - 12, 2020

Where: Spring ISD Community Engagement Center, 17125 Ella Blvd. Houston, TX 77090; All campuses

Who: Volunteers from Microsoft and Spring ISD employees