17,000 Shelby County students need to register, school starts Monday

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Around 17,000 Shelby County children have yet to register for school even though the first day of class is Monday.

Shelby County Schools reports 72,000 students are registered compared to 55,000 this time last year.

"We still know that there are some parents that are coming in from out-of-state that have contacted us," said Stacey Davis, the enrollment manager for SCS.

Davis says the district made strides this year. More parents registered their kids than ever before.

She credits their creative approach by going into the community.

"We’ve been all out in the community this summer. We’ve held many block parties every week. We’ve been at the Memphis Zoo. We been at Juvenile Court," said Davis.

District Attorney Amy Weirich says parents who don’t register their kids could face consequences.

"Between now and Monday morning, do everything you can to make sure child is registered," she said. "Once that child hits five days unexcused, you’ve committed a crime. That’s the last thing we want to be dealing with."

Weirich said this school year, they will be tracking absences more than ever.

She secured funding to expand her truancy reduction mentoring program from 14 to 30 schools.

Basically, she places staff in each school to get to the bottom of multiple unexcused absences.

"By having us there on site, it helps get that child back in school or figure out what’s going on in that home and how we can help," she said.

Weirich said the schools they selected have had the most truancy challenges.

The district said they are holding a block party at their district headquarters in Midtown on Saturday.

Parents can also register their child at their school and any satellite office.

They can also register online on the district's website.