San Benito aims to keep kids in school

SAN BENITO — They knocked on doors and talked with parents, all in an effort to find out why those kids hadn’t come back to school.

Principals, assistant principals and teachers spent a recent Saturday visiting homes of the students who had attended school in the district last year, but did not return this year.

There are more reasons than ever for parents to decide where to send their children to school.

But San Benito Consolidated Independent School District wants to send a message of success.

Raul Trevino, executive director for Leadership and Performance at San Benito, said about 200 students have not returned since last school year.

However, about 142 of those students are considered migrant students.

They will return hopefully in October and November, Trevino said.

So, it’s the 65 that were visited by school officials.

What did they find on their expedition?

Most have taken the charter school route, leaving the public school behind.

Some have moved to other districts in the Valley. Some have moved out of state.

Trevino also said some have decided to home school their children instead.

But it wasn’t just about finding out why they left, it was also to see if they needed help.

Sometimes, Trevino said, parents will keep their children out of school because of lack of resources, clothing and other necessities.

In events like this, Trevino said the district is prepared to help any family in need.

“In knowing this, we take educational choice very seriously, and want our parents and community to know that we believe that San Benito CISD provides the best educational option and experience for their children,” said Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega.

Schools that had representatives out that Saturday were Ed Downs Elementary, Dr. Cash Elementary, Judge Oscar de la Fuente Elementary and Miller Jordan Middle School.

All had the same goal. To tell parents and students how awesome their school is.

All schools made home visits throughout the week and were able to make contact with the community highlighting good reasons to return to SBCISD.

“By going door-to-door and asking why they might have made a different educational choice, we can determine in what areas we need to improve, based on their perspective,” Vega said.

“Even though we already have award-winning academics, fine arts, athletics and educational choices and options that charter schools cannot compete with, we feel that there is always room for improvement.”

The district’s goal this year is to amplify efforts in the surrounding communities and market how great the district is.

“At Ed Downs Elementary, we believe it is important for families, community resources and schools to work together in supporting student success,” their newsletter states.

“We value family and community partnering for all students. We want our students to know the importance of schools, families and community members together supporting their work at school.”

Trevino said school officials will continue their efforts well into the school year.