School superintendent: Districts are working hard to find thousands of 'missing' students

S-SEAN MAIKA PODCAST INTERVIEW.transfer_frame_248.jpg
Superintendent Dr. Sean Maika talks with Randy Beamer about what a “typical” day looks like at NEISD schools, how to help kids struggling with virtual learning, and what schools are doing when they have a positive COVID-19 case on campus. (SBG Photo)

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SAN ANTONIO - Dr. Sean Maika, the superintendent of the Northeast Independent School District tells me it's a problem he's been concerned about since the pandemic broke out: People losing their jobs, families being forced to move, and school districts not being able to find those 'missing' kids.

What happened to those kids? Where do you think they are? Randy I don't know. You know we are doing everything we can to reach out to those families, trying to track them down, using our ... counselors, using our attendance officers, going to homes trying to find them.

Dr. Maika says total enrollment - for both in-person and remote learning - is down at most school districts across the state, including NEISD. And most of the drop in the numbers they anticipated are the very youngest.

When we look at Pre-K and [Kindergarten] for our district, that almost makes up 2,000 kids that didn't come.

Dr. Maika tells me that parents of some of these youngest students say they're both worried about their kids safety if they send them to school and afraid it'll be too hard to make the kids sit still in front of a computer for virtual learning.

And you may not know that Kindergarten is not legally required or compulsory - so in these cases parents are within their rights to keep kids completely out of school.

Still in an area where we have seen the importance difference that good pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs can make - it's a big concern for educators like Maika.

Absolutely. Our young learners, what I fear for is, that if we don’t get them in at an early age and really start to work with them in academics, we’re going to be working with them intensively over the years to come.

Check out our entire conversation in our San Antonio’s Voice podcast.

We talk about all kinds of issues important to parents, students and school staffers. Maika describes what a “typical” day looks like in NEISD schools and what schools are doing when they have a positive COVID-19 case on campus.

He also answers the concerns of teachers who came to us with their complaints about safety at schools.

Maika became superintendent at NEISD in September 2019 after serving as the interim superintendent. Before this, he was the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Campus Administration. Maika was also an Executive Director for School Administration and principal of Harris Middle School.

Contact Randy Beamer
Phone: (210) 366-1151