As part of the annual Walk for Success, Socorro ISD staff and educators walked through neighborhoods in the district to reconnect with students who have not returned to school to complete their high school education.
Socorro ISD leaders, administrators, and staff visited homes to talk with students, parents and families and offer solutions to enrolling back in school and striving for academic success.
The Walk for Success team members met at their Socorro ISD feeder pattern high school for an early morning pep talk and to plan their routes before heading out to the neighborhoods.
“Each student in SISD matters to us and it is important that they know we value them and their education,” said SISD Interim Superintendent Marta C. Carmona, M.Ed. “We as a district need to ensure that whatever obstacle a student has faced, we can support them and bring them back to our schools to be successful.”
SISD has recovered more than 350 students and helped dozens graduate since the start of the Walk for Success initiative in 2014. More than 300 administrators and staff members participate in the annual event.
“I believe education plays a big role in being successful and making more money in this world,” said Ignacio Estorga, principal at Socorro High School. “Education is a step in the right direction, and it fills me with joy to see these students come back to finish their high school education.”
Daniel Dominguez, a parent of a student in the Americas feeder area, said he was visited by Americas High School assistant principal Carlos Sandoval, who also had contacted him earlier to help get his son enrolled in classes again.
“It’s been really hard for my son, he has been through so much,” Dominguez said. “I appreciate everything SISD is doing for our kids to get them back to school.”
Students and/or their parents received information on how to return to their comprehensive high school, or transfer to Options, the district’s alternative high school, which provides students a flexible schedule in a competency-based learning system.
Another option for students is the district’s adult education program, which pairs students with workforce development opportunities and a GED.
“I believe that when students see their teachers, principals or counselors again, it shows how much we care about them,” Sandoval said. “Our mission is to help provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to succeed, that’s why we participate in this event every year.”
El Dorado High School principal Vanessa Betancourt said during the school shutdown due to the pandemic, many students felt the challenges of the situation, including feeling disconnected and distant.
Now, Betancourt said, it is important for educators to reassure students that they are not a number, they are a person who counts and who matter in Team SISD.
“They say it takes a village, but here at El Dorado we say it takes an Empire,” Betancourt said. “We want students to know that there is a support system here for them. There are adults here who want to help and guide them, and that we can help them reconnect to the learning community.”
If students or families were not present at the home during the Walk for Success, educators left a door hanger so they could contact their school for more information. Students or parents may call (915) 937-0010 to receive assistance in enrolling back in SISD schools or they may contact the high school counselors’ offices directly.
This year’s event was held on Saturday, September 11.