COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina state agencies are putting their efforts into overdrive to find children they are considering COVID truant, students that districts have not heard from since March.

The State Department of Education is still working to locate more than 3,000 South Carolina students.

When school closed in March, districts lost contact with more than 16,000 students, because of families moving and lack of access to internet or transportation.

The Department of Education has worked since March to make contact with most of those families, calling on the help of local school districts to submit student data to the department. But, there is still close to 3,200 students that districts have not heard from.

The Department of Social Services has now cross referenced those names for open cases with the agency and are calling in more agencies to help locate the students.

“We’re working with the Department of Mental Health and the Sheriff’s Association working with local county sheriff’s offices on the ground to conduct these well visits and track down some of these kids,” said Connelly-Anne Ragely, SC Department of Social Services.

The Department of Social Services is still waiting on students from about three school districts in the state.

Out of the 3,000 plus names cross referenced with DSS, less than 5% of them had open cases with the agency. The department is still going to work with law enforcement to make contact with all of those students.