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Dennis E. Stephens Central Services Building for Denton ISD.

With less than two weeks until graduation ceremonies kick off, Denton ISD has been unable to contact 505 students since March 16.

The updated data is part of a presentation submitted to the school board for Tuesday’s meeting, which will be held remotely.

While confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise and businesses reopen across Texas, the fate of those unaccounted-for students remains somewhat unclear.

Those students amount to roughly 1.63% of the district’s enrollment, which constitutes a significant improvement over the past month. Officials had tallied 777 missing students when school board members were first presented with the data in late April.

Nearly two-thirds of the newly contacted students attend schools in the Ryan High School attendance zone, which contains the high school and schools that feed into it. In total, 180 of those students have made contact with teachers within the past month.

District officials have previously said they will try to be understanding with students who have been unable to attend classes during the pandemic.

As it stands, students will be given one of three determinations for their work during the last part of this school year: pass/showing progress, fail or missing.

Based upon a resolution item included in Tuesday’s board meeting, the vast majority of high schoolers will receive a semester grade based upon their performance during the school year’s third quarter.

That is, they’ll receive that credit if they “have demonstrated course proficiency as expected during school closure” through the end of the school year.

Also on the table during Tuesday’s meeting is the district’s proposed program to feed students throughout the summer. The program will look similar to what currently exists across the district, but it will be in coordination with the city of Denton.

One of the first items to come before the board will concern the fate of a wall in a prominent part of town. The district’s soon-to-be technology building, which previously housed the Cupboard Natural Foods and Cafe, will no longer sport a large mural of peaches on the building’s west side.

Instead, the architectural firm hired for the project has several design mock-ups ready to present to board members Tuesday. The three options included in the board agenda packet show the Denton ISD logo superimposed on a variety of designs and colors.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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