What Does Taking Attendance Mean in the Wake of Coronavirus School Closures?
April 17, 2020
A recent piece in Education Week highlights the various ways in which different states, districts, and schools are monitoring and tracking attendance in light of nationwide school closures due to the coronavirus. While “the federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to report chronic absence data as a measure of school quality,” many states have provided additional leniency and flexibility for schools during COVID-19. Some—like Colorado and Oklahoma—”have suspended requirements that schools report attendance numbers to them, but encouraged attendance tracking for districts’ own purposes.” Meanwhile, states like Kentucky have “pushed schools to focus on project completion dates rather than instructional time.” And many districts have simply stopped taking attendance altogether, choosing instead to focus on measuring online engagement.