Lancaster County using SROs to check-in on “lost” students

Lancaster Co. school resource officers searching for students

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A South Carolina Department of Education study showed schools lost contact with over 16,000 students. Some of the reasons varied from lack of internet, taking care of sick parents, or relocating.

Lancaster County Schools is trying to get its numbers down to zero.

Michelle Springs is a kindergarten teacher at North Elementary School in Lancaster County. She kept up with all her students during the district’s e-learning phase.

Springs says that was a task in itself, so she could not imagine what it would have been like for those teachers who could not reach their students.

That is why she is all for the district’s student check in program. The program uses school resource officers to visit the student’s addresses to check in on them.

“I think it’s a great way we can use our SROs. I think it’s a great way to check in on our students who are not making contact with the school for whatever reason,” says Springs.

While Michelle Springs did not lose any contact with her students, the principal here at Clinton Elementary says they lost contact with 30 families.

Principal Keisha Witherspoon says staff called, emailed, and even went to those students’ houses. Sometimes, they came up short, but she says having a team of SROs can help them bridge the communication gap for more than just a check in.

“They have social emotional needs. We want to get to that as well and so it’s very important I have 100 percent,” she explains. “I’ll do whatever I can to make sure I have 100 percent for my students.”

Witherspoon says speaking to these students also helps them prepare for the new year. Connecting with these students gives them an accurate portrayal of what reopening will look like.

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