FORT WORTH, Texas - With a little more than a week until the start of school, Fort Worth ISD is making one last push to get every school-aged child registered.
Volunteers laced up their walking shoes and braved the heat Saturday to connect with parents in person.
They could be at home in their pajamas, but the parents and district employees started their day making sure every family is ready for the start of school.
They hit homes and apartments, knocking on doors and having socially distanced conversations with parents, or leaving door hangers with important information.
“This is a non-traditional school year unlike any other any of us have ever had,” said Mia Hall, executive director of equity and excellence for FWISD. “We want to make sure that they have the resources that they need to be successful.”
Hall said the goal of bridging the digital divide is done by recognizing not every family has access to social media or the internet, and may not be aware of district updates and messages.
COVID-19 has also upended the process some families were used to.
“Many families have been accustomed to coming to our campuses just days before school starts to traditionally register, but due to social distancing, that may not be possible due to appointments or drive-thru registration, and they just need to know when that's happening and how to do that,” Hall explained.
“Parents have a lot of challenges that they are facing and they are trying to figure out a lot of things emotionally and physically and financially, so they may not have had a chance to register their students for school,” said Olayinka Ojo, director of early learning for FWISD.
Those who gave up a part of their weekend saw it as time well spent.
“We are a little sweaty, as you can see, but it was worth it,” parent Brent Rogers said.
“I'm a district employee, and also a parent, and this is an opportunity to give back,” volunteer Presciliana Olayo said.
A small sacrifice that benefits the entire district.
“I firmly believe in public education. Part of our PTA mission and my personal mission is to make every child's potential a reality, and this is one way to do that by making sure they get registered and they get back in school,” parent Tiffany Rogers said. “We want them, we need them, and we are here to help them.”
Fort Worth ISD starts with virtual learning on September 8.
District officials said getting students registered now also gives them some time to ensure every student has the technology in place to be successful on the first day.
BACK TO SCHOOL: North Texas school district start dates & delays