About 15,000 kids a year drop out of North Carolina schools. In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the number is about 1,500. School social workers have long made house calls to many kids who simply stop showing up at school. They try to figure out why the child left, get them help, and show them ways they can catch up.
This is a sensitive situation. Imagine you're a kid who has given up on school and then a social worker shows up on your doorstep.
"I've had families look through the blinds and not come to the door," says Heidi Berger, a CMS social worker.