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    Spring 2021 Attendance Policy for Middle and High Schools
    Posted on 04/26/2021

    Spring 2021 Attendance Policy for Middle and High Schools

    We are thrilled to have welcomed students in grades 6-12 back to in-person learning on Monday, April 19. As expected, many things will look differently from remote learning, including how attendance is taken.

    Attendance will now be taken twice every day for each period – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Students will be marked absent if they do not participate during afternoon instruction.

    There are three reasons that attendance has shifted to this model for the remainder of the school year:

    1. The governor’s proclamation required all schools to provide an option for in-person learning to students, and all in-person learning requires this attendance documentation,
    2. Most of the instructional day is now in the afternoon, and
    3. We want to keep families informed that student participation is required.

    This is a change from how attendance has been taken at our middle and high schools during 100% remote learning. However, we will continue to provide flexibility for students, families, and educators when it comes to attendance and will take steps to reduce any negative effects of attendance taking during this school year, particularly for those students who need accommodations.

    On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, teachers are expected to provide live, remote instruction to all of their students in the morning for 30-45 minutes for each scheduled period, and then follow up with these same students in the afternoon for 60-75 minutes with small group and individual instructional support. Teachers will gather data on who attends in the morning and who attends in the afternoon through Microsoft Teams and record this information formally by the end of the day. If students do not participate in instruction or instructional support, either in-person or remotely, at all during these scheduled blocks in the afternoon, they will be marked absent.

    Educators will communicate clear times to students and families when they will engage each of their groups of students in a scheduled period during the afternoon blocks. Educators will also have until 4:45 p.m. to enter their formal attendance data.

    Per state guidelines, there is no truancy during the 2020-21 school year. We will also continue to communicate that attendance alone should not determine students’ grades, but rather student grades and credit attainment should be based on the work they submit that demonstrates their progress towards meeting required standards in a content area.

    We will provide accommodations to students who cannot participate in afternoon activities if they have obligations that they will not be able to change during the last nine weeks of the school year, such as caring for a sibling or a family member, so that their attendance and grades are not negatively impacted.

    Learn more about the Return to In-Person Learning at Seattle Public Schools.