Attendance: Alignment of Pathway Learning Options with School Board Policy
Powhatan County Schools: Attendance Procedures During COVID-19 | Alignment of Pathway Learning Options with School Board Policy JED and PCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities (pages 11-13)
Overview of PCPS Student Attendance During COVID-19
All students will participate in learning for 5 days/week as indicated in the PCPS 20-21 Division Calendar. The Code of Virginia (Section 22.1-254) requires school attendance by persons between the ages of five (by September 30) and eighteen. During COVID-19, PCPS has received guidance from the Virginia Department of Education to expand “school attendance” to include participation in learning described as a meaningful interaction. Meaningful interactions are understood as two-way engagement with a student and staff that allows some sort of feedback or input from the student on successes and challenges. Examples of a meaningful interaction include, but are not limited to, direct participation in a lesson, work completion, submitting assigned tasks, or engagement with school staff related to instructional tasks.
Students in grades PreK-3 should have a meaningful interaction with their teacher or appropriate school staff on a daily basis through the combination of learning packets, access to Schoology, and face-to-face instruction. Recognizing the young age of these students, families will play a key role in enabling access for remote attendance. School staff will work to support families in addressing any unique circumstances that impact student attendance and participation. Families should alert school counselors or administrators of any situations that may impact a child’s ability to participate in remote learning.
Students in grades 4-12 should have a meaningful interaction with an appropriate school staff member on a daily basis through access to Schoology lessons and face-to-face instruction. Additionally, secondary students will have a meaningful interaction with each of their teachers on a weekly basis. Attendance checks, as detailed below, will occur on the other days. School staff will work to support families in addressing any unique circumstances that impact student attendance and participation. Families should alert school counselors or administrators of any situations that may impact a child’s ability to participate in remote learning.
The frequency and quality of meaningful interactions should also be considered in delivering services and support for vulnerable student populations such as students with disabilities, English language learners, or other students with unique circumstances. Certain students may require more intensive approaches in order to receive an appropriate education and needed supports. Families should alert school counselors, case managers, or administrators of any situations that may impact a child’s ability to participate in the prescribed learning environment.
PCPS Attendance Expectations During COVID-19
Powhatan Virtual Classroom (Full Virtual) - Learning Pathway 1
All students will participate in learning for 5 days/week as indicated in the PCPS 20-21 Division Calendar. Attendance for all students in the Powhatan Virtual Classroom will be monitored through presence in classroom synchronous learning activities. For those students with permission to access asynchronous learning, Schoology usage reports will be used to monitor daily attendance. (Synchronous learning activities are defined as those that are occurring live in real-time and may be accessed from a remote location. Asynchronous learning activities are those that may be accessed at any time and in various formats.)
Hybrid Learners - Learning Pathway 2
All students will participate in learning for 5 days/week as indicated in the PCPS 20-21 Division Calendar.
- Grades PK-3: For the first three weeks, the attendance of hybrid students will be monitored through engagement with assigned tasks. Students who do not return assigned off-site learning tasks will be considered absent for the remote learning days. Students who are unable to complete the task due to the need for instructional support will be considered present if notification of difficulty is provided to the classroom teacher.
- Grades 4-12: Attendance will be monitored for off-site learning through Schoology usage reports for most students. Students must log in to Schoology and participate in assigned tasks daily. Students who do not log in will be considered absent from distance learning for that day.
- Offline Learners: For students without sufficient internet access needed to log in to Schoology, daily attendance is still required. Attendance will be recorded through participation in a meaningful interaction with assigned school staff. Offline learners are expected to contact the assigned person by 10:00 a.m. daily to indicate that they are engaged in their assigned tasks. Each school will communicate the specific procedures to be followed at that school.
Short-Term Virtual Learning
In the event that PCPS moves instruction to full virtual for all students, attendance will be monitored through procedures outlined for the Powhatan Virtual Classroom.
Additional Excused Absences for Remote Learners
In addition to the reasons listed in the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, the following are considered reasonable excuses for missed instruction and will be considered an excused absence:
- Significant power outage resulting in an inability to log in to Schoology to complete assignments
- Significant loss of internet access due to disruption of service
Parents/guardians must submit notification of these circumstances in order for the absence to be considered excused within 48 hours.
Chronic Absenteeism procedures will be suspended when absences are known to relate to COVID-19.
The Code of Virginia (Section 22.1-258) mandates specific procedures for monitoring student absences and identifying truancy. As these procedures relate to unexcused absences, there is no need to adapt truancy procedures due an expected increase in excused COVID-19-related absences.
Temporary Absences Over 3 Days Due to COVID-19
Students who are required to remain home from school due to COVID-19 related concerns will be able to access remote learning activities. Please contact your child’s school administrator to arrange for these supports. The administrator will temporarily arrange for asynchronous and/or synchronous assignments based on each student’s unique circumstances. The administrator will consider the student’s grade, internet access, and course load.