Los Angeles Unified School District officials and Mayor Eric Garcetti took to the streets Friday in search of students who had been attending classes but are no longer enrolled, hoping to return those students to their classes.

LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King. Photo via achieve.lausd.net

As part of the eighth annual Student Recovery Day, LAUSD board president Steve Zimmer and Superintendent Michelle King were joined by Garcetti, walking neighborhoods near schools with traditionally elevated dropout rates. The trio met with one former student, named Jeffrey, in his family’s home and announced that he plans to return to class.

“So we just had a great conversation here with Jeffrey, who’s working hard to help his family out,” Garcetti told reporters outside the home. “He said because of that had to leave school and we came here to say we want you back in school.”

Officials said the district plans to help arrange night classes for him so he can continue to work and help his family.

Zimmer said the goal of Student Recovery Day is to tell potential dropout students that the district is ready to work with them to ensure they can continue their education.

“We want to know why you left and what we can do to help you come back,” he said. “You are important. We are not complete, we are not whole, without you.”

Some students who were persuaded to return to class in past Student Recovery Day efforts said the program had positive results.

“I’ll be the first one to hopefully go to college, and I want to see other people like that do the same,” said student Chad Kimo Tim Sing Melendez.

According to the LAUSD, 4,869 students have been “recovered” since the program began in 2008, with officials making more than 10,200 home visits to encourage students to return to class.

This year’s program focused on areas surrounding Washington Preparatory, Canoga Park, Helen Bernstein, Linda Esperanza Marquez, Sun Valley and Mervyn M. Dymally high schools.

— City News Service

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