Class of COVID-19: Meet One Woman On A Mission To Find Hundreds Of Kids, Lost To Their Schools
By the time Lilia Francois gets behind the wheel, a school has tried everything else to locate the child missing from class.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 800 students in Broward County Public Schools — the state’s second largest district and the sixth largest in the U.S. — have completely stopped going to school. They haven't logged on to virtual classes or shown up for in-person instruction. Thousands more have racked up chronic absences.
“That’s where we have to hit the pavement and go to the homes and knock on those doors,” said Lilia Francois, a social worker with the Broward school district.
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This story is part of the Florida Public Media series, "Class of COVID-19: An Education Crisis For Florida's Vulnerable Students." Find the whole project — and sign up for our limited-run newsletter — at classofcovid.org.
“Class of COVID-19” is being produced through a partnership with the following public media organizations: WLRN (Miami), WGCU (Fort Myers), WFSU (Tallahassee), WUSF (Tampa), WMFE (Orlando) , WUCF (Orlando), WPBT/WXEL (Miami/Boynton Beach), WJCT (Jacksonville), WEDU (Tampa) and WUWF (Pensacola).
The project is supported in part by the Hammer Family Charitable Foundation and the Education Writers Association.