SCS says 9,052 students are 'no shows' this school year, not all truant
(WMC) - With more than a month into the school year, thousands of students have not shown up for class.
Shelby County Schools officials put the number of no shows this year at 9,052. That data comes from the board of education's Tuesday meeting.
Educators say the report doesn't necessarily mean that all 9,000 plus kids are truant. Some may have moved away, changed schools, or registered privately.
"In this age and era of kids having multiple options: charter Schools, ASD, municipality districts," William White with SCS Planning and Accountability said. "It gets a little more complicated trying to get these numbers."
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says this is still a big problem. He says one complicating factor is the lack of a shared student data between districts.
School board members offered suggestions. They suggested moving up registration to start the process sooner or being proactive about recruiting. Others suggested working with individuals schools and principals, as well as community leaders to track down students.
"I don't want the headline to be that the numbers don't support truancy, because we have a truancy problem here that we need to figured it out," Hopson said.
Hopson says right now they have no way to cross reference other school districts and figure out whether the no shows are registered at municipal schools.
Whether through truancy or miscalculations, SCS predicted a total number of students around 117,000. At a cost of about $8,000 per student, only having 108,000 could cost the district money to use in the classroom.
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