A empty classroom is pictured at Magee Secondary school in Vancouver on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward)

Staff have been going door-to-door in a Michigan school district to track down students who have not been participating in online instruction.

The Flint district has been able to find about 1,200 students in recent weeks, MLive.com reported. Earlier this month, groups of administrators, teachers and other school staff began making house calls to locate students they were unable to reach.

Flint Community Schools was down 2,000 students when classes began on Aug. 5, Assistant Superintendent Kevelin Jones said. The districts expects to have about 3,800 students this year.

“That had never happened to us before and so we said, ‘We need to do something. We need to connect,’” Jones said.

The district has been sending out robocalls and using social media to contact families. It also had more people manning the phones as more parents have been calling in.

“Understanding these are unprecedented times,” Jones said, the district will continue efforts to find students in following weeks if necessary.

Jones said some families were mobile and had moved or changed their number. There were many that did not have the equipment to access children’s school work.

Sharita Watson, a mother of five, said she was pleased to see their principal join the effort.

“That shows me that she’s really here for the children and not just there for the job,” Watson said.

Jones said the pitch is simple: It’s time to learn.

“We’re out here making our best effort making sure (parents) know we’re here to deal with any barriers you have in getting your child in school and whatever we can do to help doing that,” he said.