Frequently asked questions regarding new attendance procedures
There have been several changes to our attendance and daily health screening procedures, and we realize that has led to several questions. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to new attendance procedures.
- Hybrid learners: attend school in-person two or more days per week; learn remotely one or more days per week
- Remote learners: learn remotely five days per week
Why have attendance procedures changed?
New state attendance requirements were a late addition to other NYSED guidance as a result of the pandemic. Traditionally, student attendance is taken in person when students are in the building. The new guidelines from NYSED require the district to document and report daily attendance for all students when they are learning in school or at home.
Why do I have to complete my student’s attendance through the daily health screening?
The district recognizes the many different schedules and learning needs of its families. To be mindful of and responsive to these needs, not all students take part in synchronous learning each day. Because of this, teachers cannot take attendance in a traditional way. Attendance was added to the daily health screening since it’s already a requirement this year for all hybrid and remote students. As shared in the beginning of the year, families should complete the daily health screening every day regardless of in-person or remote status. Those students reporting to school should complete it before arrival at school.
What happens if we do not complete the daily health screening?
Remote students will be marked absent if the health screening is not completed and there is no follow-up about their absence.
If my remote learner is attending/completing work virtually, why do I have to report their attendance?
The state requires that students are present “at school” every day, no matter their learning model. Although essential to student success, completing work cannot replace daily attendance.
If my student is scheduled to report to school in person on a given day but cannot and will not, what should I select in the daily health screening?
If your student is scheduled to be at school in person but cannot or will not report, select absent and notify the attendance office as usual. Absences are marked unexcused until a reason is reported.
Why can’t my student’s teacher take attendance?
Our system is not currently set up for teachers to be able to monitor attendance of remote learners on a daily basis, as now required by New York State. To be equitable and consistent across all grade levels every day, we are asking parents/guardians to partner with us to track attendance that can accurately be reported to the state and help us ensure engagement of all hybrid and remote learners.
If I complete my student’s daily health screening, does my student still need to join class live?
Students should join synchronous or live classes whenever possible to engage in learning and receive credit for the class. The expectation is that all hybrid and remote students take part and engage in learning according to their schedule on their remote days.
How long will we have to do this in this way?
We will continue tracking attendance this way for both hybrid and remote learners as long as this is a state requirement.
When do I have to complete my student’s attendance?
As outlined in the beginning of the year, all hybrid and remote learners should complete the daily health screening. Hybrid learners should complete this screening before arrival at school. Beginning Feb. 22, if the daily health screening is not completed by 10 a.m., an automatic phone call will be generated by the end of the school day to notify you that attendance was not submitted. To update your student’s attendance after 10 a.m., please call the building attendance office.
To see the most up-to-date daily health screening language, go to gateschili.org/screening.