The Houston Independent School District will launch its Students Within Reach/Return Strong campaign on August 3 with the goal of re-engaging children who have not participated in at-home instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign will be a targeted effort to reach students who have not connected with their schools since virtual instruction began in March. The district will also seek to connect with a smaller group that disengaged after May 1.

“It’s important as a district to ensure all students are engaged in meaningful instruction and learning at all times,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We will be persistent in our efforts to reach all of our children, and when we do, we will ensure they have the resources and support needed to navigate virtual coursework.”

Prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year on September 8, when students will return to class with virtual instruction, the Students Within Reach/Return Strong campaign will conduct outreach using mailings, personalized phone calls, text messages and social media, as well as home visits by trained HISD staff. The visits will be conducted in a safe manner, using social distancing and masks.

HISD data show 7,541 of the district’s approximately 209,000 students have been disengaged since HISD moved to at-home instruction due to COVID-19 last spring. Additionally, 895 students were engaged prior to May 1 but not contactable after that date.

Students who have not participated in virtual instruction reside in various areas across the district.

Parents and students seeking to reconnect with their school are reminded they may contact their campus principal, teachers, or call the HISD @ H.O.M.E. hotline at 713-556-INFO (4636).