(CBS DETROIT)– Staff at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences on the city’s Eastside, on a mission. For the 2nd time since the start of this school year, they’re heading out in search for students missing from the classroom.

“The first thing we noticed on day one is that we were down roughly 40% of our scholars did not attend on day one. So that automatically raised some flags and we’re like trying to figure out where those scholars were,” said Chief Academy Officer for Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Lawrence Hood.

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Hood says attendance is usually low the first couple of days, but never to this extreme.

Staff immediately started calling enrolled families, but when those calls went unanswered, they hit the road.

“My whole concern is your child’s education,” staff member Rochelle Robinson tells a parent during a home visit.

Staff went to the homes of families, for a welfare check on students. The school bus was the chosen form of transportation, just in case students needed a ride to school.

What they found were various reasons why students had not returned to school, including lack of transportation, uniforms, or for those wanting to be virtual, no internet or computer access. All these things the school says they are providing to the families.

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But for some, returning during this time is just too much to bare.

“Some of the families are still dealing with trauma from the pandemic and so we understood that and we’re trying to help them out with other social, emotional needs,” Hood said.

Hood says he’s hearing from other school districts dealing with the same issue. Right now he says the school still has about 20 percent of students unaccounted for.

Staff say they will continue knocking on doors as long as it takes until every student is located.

“Anything you need please feel free to give me a call,” Robinson tells the parent

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