The Maryland State Department of Education requires that all school systems track student attendance during both face-to-face and virtual learning. Taking attendance while students are learning from home assists school staff in ensuring that all students have the resources and support they need to engage in learning. Tracking attendance includes a combination of measures that indicate a student is demonstrating engagement in learning. This is not indicative of the degree to which the student understands neither the content nor his or her grade in class; rather it is documentation of a student’s engagement in the learning process. In addition, tracking whether a student is physically in class or learning virtually assists authorities if or when contact tracing becomes necessary. The attendance protocols have been updated to include some changes beginning November 9, 2020 and can be viewed at the following link: Attendance Protocols for Virtual Learning 2020-2021 Updated 10.30.2020
. Daily attendance will be completed each day by each teacher, but will officially be recorded on a weekly basis in PowerSchool.
A student is considered present when there is evidence of daily engagement in one of the factors listed below:
- Attending school face-to-face on assigned days
- Attending classes via Google Meet
- Submission of assignments in Schoology
- Participation in work-based learning/internships (high school only)
A student is considered absent when there is not evidence of engagement in the above factors.
The Student Information System (PowerSchool) defaults student attendance records to “present” for any student attending face-to-face on his or her assigned days just as it has done in previous years. Teachers will enter a code daily (“A” at elementary and “20” at secondary schools) for any student who is not physically present on the assigned day. If the student participates virtually, based on the factors listed above for that day, the absence code will be changed to a “VT” indicating that the student was present virtually. All attendance codes will be finalized by Wednesday for the previous week.
Schools will pre-populate the attendance field with the “VT” code for any student who is expected to be learning virtually on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. If a student who was assigned a “VT” code for virtual learning did not engage based on the factors listed above, the teacher will change the “VT” code to an “A” or “20” indicating that the student was absent on that day. All attendance codes will be finalized by Wednesday for the previous week.
For Wednesdays, PowerSchool will default student attendance records to “present.” If a student does not complete the asynchronous assignments for that day, the teacher will enter an “A” or “20” by Wednesday for the previous week.
Please note that the “VT” code is a placeholder, which indicates that a student is participating in learning virtually. It is not an absence code. This process will allow the school to have an accurate record of who is physically in the building for emergency purposes as well as for contact tracing.
GCPS anticipates that additional updates to the Attendance Protocols will be necessary in the future as phases of the Recovery and Reopening plan are implemented. For specific questions regarding your child’s attendance, please contact his or her teacher directly.
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