TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa school is working on finding missing students who should be in class but haven't shown up yet.

It starts with paperwork, but next week it turns into an actual search.

Webster High School has 21 students they believe should be in class there, but may not be in class anywhere.

Principal Shelly Holman and School Facilitator Tina Mott spend a lot of time going over numbers, grades and attendance; the research shows that's how to spot potential dropouts.

"We're looking at kids who might be sliding with attendance and trying to catch them before they come on the radar as chronic and miss all the time,” Mott said. “We want to see them as they start showing warnings that they have a pattern."

Besides the children who are at school but at risk of dropping out, Webster, and the district overall, is making a new effort to track down students who left middle school and didn't show up for high school.

Holman said, “And that can be tough - if there was a move over the summer and the student isn't our student, then it's difficult for us to find those students. So, we take the last known numbers and address and we're tracking down those students.”

Each school has a list to track every student from eighth grade into high school. Right now, the search is on paper, on the phone and online - next week it moves to the streets.

"We're going to go out and look for kids, and it might be a challenge, but we're also going to take with us a teacher who might have a connection with a student who might have been here before that we don't know where they are this year," Holman said.

The small goal is to make sure middle schoolers make the transition to high school; the larger goal is to make sure more of them graduate in 2020.

Webster started some of this process last year - and it showed with a boost in graduation rates.

They hope to continue that trend both with students in school - and not yet back in class.