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Class of COVID-19: Meet One Woman On A Mission To Find Hundreds Of Kids, Lost To Their Schools

an illustration depicting a virtual learning video screen where some students are absent and others are distracted
Camila Kerwin
/
Nearly 90,000 students have gone "missing" from Florida public schools since the pandemic began.

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.

Find the rest of the story here.

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.