Dallas ISD starting Finish Strong campaign to get seniors back on track to graduate

Dallas ISD officials said an alarming number of high school seniors are not on track to graduate.

The district is now planning on getting seniors back into classrooms starting Monday.

It comes after Dallas ISD announced 40% of seniors are not on track to graduate, having fallen behind during remote learning.

RELATED: 4 out of 10 Dallas ISD seniors not on track to graduate, district reports

Dallas ISD's Finish Strong campaign is an attempt to get students caught back up, as the district believes getting seniors back into a physical classroom will change that.

High school seniors didn’t expect their final year to go the way it’s gone.

"It’s bittersweet to me. I’m excited, but I’m sad at the same time," Ja’Kaylon Sabbath said.

Sabbath is a senior at Carter High School. She’s been learning both in-person and virtually.

"It’s boring being at home. You see the same people every day, as you do at school, but like, you’re looking at the same people you live with," she said.

The track star expected a senior year like students experienced in years past.

"Instead, your senior year was turned upside down by a once in a lifetime pandemic," Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said.

Now, Dallas ISD is pushing seniors to get back in the classroom, full-time beginning Monday. It’s a campaign called Finish Strong ‘21.

"I think coming back to school is the best option," Madison High School senior Jayleen Record said.

Record said it’s needed. The football star organized a protest last fall in an effort to convince the district to allow sporting events. He thinks it’s important to get his peers inside classrooms.

"Some of my teammates, you know, classmates, they need help," he said.

Numbers back it up. The district found that 40% of seniors are not on track to graduate. It’s trying to play catch up with only nine weeks left in the school year.

"For me, learning remotely has actually been easy," Sabbath said.

Sabbath said she’s doing just fine, but her hope is that for ones struggling, they work to get back on track in time for graduation.

"I’m just hoping, like, all my peers that know they need to be at school come back and do what they’re supposed to do so we a can walk across the stage together. I mean, we’ve been in school for a long time. I know everybody been waiting on this day," she said.

Dallas ISD officials said they’ll continue to follow all safety guidelines related to COVID-19.