North Texas school districts monitoring attendance levels amid COVID-19 resurgence

As schools reopen across North Texas, school districts are continuing the struggle that began two school years ago -- attendance. 

Dallas ISD and Frisco ISD are among the districts that are seeing fewer students than they hoped.

"We're definitely seeing slower enrollment, but pleased over 80% of our students are back in school," said Susana Cordova, DISD deputy superintendent.

With all Dallas ISD schools now in session, officials want to see more students back in class. 

"One of the things we're proud of is we have enrollment in the 90's on a typical day," Cordova said.

Coming off a shortened summer break, Dallas ISD had three first days of school starting August 2. 

"We have talked to families. They have a younger child on earlier calendar, older child on a later calendar, so that has created some confusion," Cordova said.

Cordova says the lowest turnout is among Pre-K and kindergarten students, critical years in early childhood development.

"Doing lots of outreach to let them know we are open and do think it is important. We see the importance particularly for low income families," Cordova said.

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Frisco ISD says their enrollment is up by 1,600 students compared with last year at this time. But it is lower than the high-growth district projected before the surge in cases from the delta variant.

Many districts continue to update their COVID-19 dashboards now that students are returning. Dallas ISD says so far its numbers are low, with 56 cases among students.

Richardson ISD's superintendent warned Monday evening that even before Tuesday's first day of school, her district had several reported cases. 

"Though we have not yet started school as I speak with you, we have 49 employees, and 50 students who have reported positive cases," Dr. Jeannie Stone said.

In Garland, where school started August 2, the numbers are more alarming with 479 students with active COVID-19 cases. The district points to it early start as one reason it has a large number of cases along with what it says are a large number of at-home exposures.

But that high number matches what the experts have been saying.

"What I've learned consistently from those health officials is the delta variant is more contagious for everyone and is impacting younger students more than COVID did last year," Stone said.


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