HOUSTON (KIAH) — The COVID-19 pandemic hit school districts across the country hard, and the Houston Independent School District was not immune from it.

One of the impacts was a decline in student enrollment that HISD is still trying to improve.

The district now has a new weapon in that battle they call the Enrollment Unit.

It’s a vehicle that resembles a large food truck that’s finished-out on the inside with ten individual bays that have iPads with internet access.

HISD will drive the so-called E-Unit into neighborhoods that have poor enrollment numbers and to community events where large numbers of people are gathered.

“We look at data, and we see where those areas are where families have no technology or they have access to less technology than others,” HISD Executive Director of Innovation and Student Enrollment Melanie Martinez Gomez said. “And so those are the areas that we want to ensure that we’re in to be able to support those families.”

To create the E-Unit, the school district used funding that Congress approved for schools to fight the impacts of COVID-19.

If it works in improving enrollment, that would also possibly lead to an increase in state funding for HISD, but Gomez says there’s another reason for the E-Unit.

“Enrollment is important, because we want to ensure that every child in HISD boundary is being educated,” she said. “And we have programs that offer high quality education, and we want to make sure that our families have access to that.”