Volunteers from the Robstown Independent School District and from the community, rallied together Friday and went door-to-door in neighborhoods get kids back to school.
Operation Stay In School took place Friday morning as the volunteers met at the Robstown High School to prepare. The program allows the school to help students go back and earn their high school diploma and offer any assistance needed to make it happen.
Sixty students have not returned for the 2012-2013 school year and At-Risk Counselor Leticia Reyes and the At Risk Data Clerk have already visited with those students with half returning.
“We've already done about 60 home visits on our own, so there's about 30 more we need to go retrieve. This is one effort where we're trying,” Reyes said.
The volunteers went door to door speaking with parents or guardians about options that could help the family and student, so they can go back to school.
Fourteen members participated in Operation Stay in School.
“This year we wanted to try something different and bring in the community,” Reyes said.
They do explain the GED program but only as a last resort, they mainly push for the traditional high school diploma. The incompletion rate at the high school is high and this operation is to help decrease dropout rates.
“We need to bring that down, not only for us but to educate the community, to keep the community alive,” Reyes said.
Robstown High School principal, Rick Waterhouse, also went out to the neighborhoods to get kids back in school.
“Every kid we try to touch has a reason why they aren't in school. Some of the reasons are real, some are imagined but all of them can be overcome,” Waterhouse said.
Options the volunteers explained were things such as daycare centers if the student has a child, places that offer assistance with food or money.
Reyes said she once helped a student with family bills and even offered to give people a ride to the school to register if they needed it.
“Economically, socially and any other measurement, lives change when there's a high school diploma involved,” Waterhouse said.