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In-person school attendance as high as 93 percent in one Houston area-district, HISD remains mostly remote

KHOU-TV Houston logo KHOU-TV Houston 1/26/2021 Jason Miles
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The recent COVID-19 surge hasn’t kept many families from sending students back to physical campuses.

In fact, some area districts are approaching pre-pandemic attendance levels.

“We started in January, back from the holidays, with 93 percent of our students back,” said Dickinson ISD communications director Tammy Dowdy.

Dowdy said far too many students failed to successfully adapt to learning from home during the last semester.

"We had a big push right before the Christmas holidays to get as many of our students back as possible when we returned,” Dowdy said.

Dickinson ISD tops the list as far as on-campus attendance among school districts that responded to KHOU 11.

Other districts also have a majority of students back. Those include Conroe at 82 percent, Katy at 70 percent and Klein at 67.5 percent.

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Cy-Fair ISD broke data down by type of school and reported 73 percent of elementary students are signed up for in-person instruction along with 68 percent and 65 percent of middle and high schoolers, respectively.

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Dowdy said they haven't noticed a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases with the rise in on-campus learners.

"No, we haven’t really noticed a huge change,” Dowdy said.

Cleaning and other protocols, like mandatory face coverings, remain in place. 

Many districts also continuously remind students and staff to follow them via social media. Officials believe students and staff are more at risk away from school than on campus where Dickinson ISD hopes to keep them.

"Because nothing can compare to that good, first-hand instruction from a teacher, in person,” Dowdy said.

Not every district has a majority of students back on campus, including the state’s largest, Houston ISD.

43 percent of its more than 200,000 students are currently learning in-person.

Alief ISD reports a little more than 48 percent.

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