US schools fight to keep students amid fear of dropout surge

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — U.S. educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate. Their efforts, including relaxing graduation requirements, come amid an anticipated surge in the country’s dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic. There isn’t data available yet on how the pandemic has affected the nation’s overall dropout rate. But soaring numbers of students who are failing classes or are chronically absent have experts fearing the worst. Schools have been busy tracking down wayward seniors through social media, knocking on their doors and assigning staff to help them make up for lost time.