Philadelphia School District trying to contact hundreds of students it hasn’t heard from since schools closed

School District of Philadelphia
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  The Philadelphia School District says it hasn't been able to contact hundreds of students since school buildings closed for the coronavirus. 

This was the first week for graded online education and the first week teachers were taking attendance. While the vast majority of students have been communicating with their teachers either online or by phone, Superintendent William Hite says not everyone has.

"We still have young people that we can't account for,” he said. 

Hite says since schools closed for the coronavirus, the district has been trying to find 500 families by calling them or even knocking on doors. 

"Individuals are not where they were. The phone numbers are not the same. And the contacts have changed,” he said. 

The 500 students represent less than one percent of the district's total enrollment, but Hite says that's still too many. 

He says the district has acquired 2,500 hotspots at $185 a year for some of the students who are unable to take advantage of free or reduced-cost internet access. 

Hite says overall participation figures for this first week of online instruction should be available on Monday.