LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On Thursday evening, Clark County School District leaders discussed ways to get students back in class, as children continue to miss school two years after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the 2021-2022 school year, 39% of students were absent for at least 10% of their enrolled days. This is 22% higher than the district’s target rate.

Diana Battista shared the struggles her son has faced as a CCSD student since the pandemic forced a transition to distance learning in 2020. 

CCSD trustees and parents discuss chronic absenteeism across schools on Thursday evening. (KLAS)

“He missed almost the entire school year,” Battista said of her son. “Because of the access issues that he had.”

She told 8 News Now her fifth grader, who has special needs, was unenrolled by the district and has had to work hard to catch up. 

“What harm has been done to them,” Battista said of other students during Thursday’s CCSD regular board meeting. “And what school did they miss?”

She was one of many who stood up to speak out on the issue, as CCSD trustees discussed their latest plan to combat chronic absenteeism. 

“We’re really proud of our educators who are really going out in teams,” CCSD Trustee Linda Cavazos said of current efforts. “To non-invasively contact these families.”

The plan put forward to fight absenteeism involves renewing the ‘Truancy Prevention Outreach Program,’ which identifies at-risk kids’ root causes for missing class and reaching out to families. 

“Their issue is at home,” a CCSD teacher said of students missing class. “And not necessarily a stable living environment.”

Leaders hope these actions will make a difference, while Battista encourages all parents to keep looking out for their kids. 

“This is the reality of what we have to go through on a daily basis,” she concluded. 

When divided by race, Black CCSD students missed the most school last year with a 50% absenteeism rate, followed by Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students, then Hispanic or Latino students. 

For a look at the figures and overall plan presented during Thursday’s meeting, click HERE