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San Bernardino launches sweep for no-show students

August 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
They call it "Operation Student Recovery."

Volunteers from the San Bernardino City Unified School District went door to door Wednesday morning trying to find out why some 300 students missed the first week of school.

Three weeks ago, the school year started with several no-shows.

"Sometimes we find that there are some family situations that are making it difficult to go to school, and we'll brainstorm with the families to figure out some alternative possibilities," said Dr. Kennon Mitchell, assistant superintendent of student services.

Forty teams with the district hit the streets and went door-to-door armed with packets of information on alternative education programs.

A few years ago, Geovani Galeano learned the hard way just how easy it was to fall behind.

"You have friends that like to push the issue, like, 'Come on, let's go. Let's go. It's just one day,'" Galeano said. "One day accumulates, and by the time you know it, you don't know what anybody is learning in school no more."

School officials helped him enroll in a continuation program. He went on to earn his high school diploma in 2006.

There is also child care support for student-parents, which was the case for one student who had not yet returned to school.

"We find that sometimes kids don't know all the options available to them and all the alternative pathways to graduation," Mitchell said.

By the end of the day, volunteers visited more than 300 homes in an effort to get kids back in the classroom.

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