Education

Education

Thousands of students in the Belton and Temple school districts have been at home learning.

But more than 100 students between the two neighboring districts have not been hitting the books, according to school officials.

Initially, the Belton Independent School District could not reach 40 elementary and middle school students and 41 high school students.

“We sent them a certified letter. We made numerous attempts to reach out to them,” Belton schools Superintendent Matt Smith told trustees this week. “Because of that last wave of certified letters, we are down to 20 at the elementary and middle school level where we’re still working to engage them. At the high school level, we had 41 students that were having a hard time engaging in learning experiences. And after that letter, we are down to 35.”

Temple ISD has not been able to reach 58 students, spokesman Christian Hernandez said.

“These are students who have not reciprocated communication after multiple attempts of campus staff reaching out,” Hernandez said.

Belton ISD will continue to reach out to the 55 students who have not been in class.

“Our team will continue to keep working through whatever means necessary to engage students in these learning experiences,” Smith said.

Both districts were unsure of why these students have not been able to learn from home.

“We don’t know the reasons why those students haven’t returned communication with us,” Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said. “We don’t know if they moved or relocated to live with other family members during the quarantine process.”

But Ott believes 58 students is a reasonable fraction of the district’s total population.

“I don’t think the number is that bad,” he said. “We just have to keep plugging away and help the students we can reach in finishing out strong.”

Smith said Belton ISD has taught 12,281 students during the COVID-19 pandemic closure.

“I want to applaud our team a little bit for thinking through learning experiences for 12,000 students,” the Belton schools superintendent said. “I’m extremely proud of the work our team has done to engage the kids and provide them with great learning experiences during this time.”

Temple ISD has taught 8,650 students during its closure, Hernandez said.