BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There are two weeks until school is in session, but in Midfield they're already on a mission.
"I have a team that's down there knocking on doors," said Midfield Elementary Principal Marshae Pelt.
Teams of teachers and administrators from the district's three schools hit the pavement and walked the neighborhoods to make sure students show up on the first day of school.
"We call it Pats on the Ground," said Midfield High School Interim Principal Keith Hearon. He said they're making sure they start the year strong, with high attendance.
"Attendance matters," said Hearon. "Truancy is very high in the district. You end the year, how you start. So, you if you have a great start we know we will have a great ending," he continued as he walked through the neighborhood.
Attendance is one part of the mission. The other is building relationships.
"We have established a pattern that we are here for you, we are here to work for you and we are one hundred percent behind you," said Pelt.
She said by meeting the parents where they are, it eliminated any possible barriers.
"We registered students on the spot. We were able to carry out our Chrome books and laptops and used hot spots and registered students who were living with grandparents and not only that, for those students who may have difficulties getting up to the school, we are actually eliminating a barrier for them," she explained.
A bus brought the educators from Collier to Vann and Woodward Avenue, where teams of teachers and administrators took steps to reach their students.
"It's also about our teachers being able to walk the same streets as their children; so it's an eye-opening experience for our teachers also," continued Hearon.
The district plans to have a back to school rally and open house on August 6.