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Attendance and Engagement Tracking During COVID-19

Attendance and Engagement Tracking During COVID-19 Instructional Modifications-

On June 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) into law.  Though SB 98 is a budget bill, it includes requirements regarding distance learning and in-person instruction, among other topics, for the 2020-21 school year. Additional information on SB 98 can be found here.


To comply with SB 98 the District is utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous learning to meet the required instructional minutes.  Synchronous learning refers to all types of learning in which learner(s) and instructor(s) are in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place.  This includes in-person classes, live online meetings when the whole class or smaller groups get together. Elementary schools are using Synchronous learning exclusively. Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time.


As a result of SB 98, the state requires certificated staff to:

  • Log synchronous and asynchronous learning which are part of the instructional minutes
  • Document if a student signs off or does not remain online for the duration of synchronous lessons
  • Determine the time value of asynchronous learning activities
  • Complete a “Weekly Engagement Record” for each student participating in distance learning.
  • Implement a tiered reengagement strategy for students who are absent from distance learning for more than 3 school says or 60 percent of the instructional days in a school week (see Ed. Code, § 43504(f)(2)).


The District has until September 1, 2020, to comply with the above.  If the District fails to complete the daily participation log, weekly engagement logs, or abide by the attendance requirements, then the Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to withhold funds from the District’s LCFF grant moneys as specified under SB 98.


Attendance is submitted daily by the teacher in AERIES (the District’s student data system). Teachers have access to change the recorded attendance code for five (5) days. The following are revised attendance codes that have been utilized effective August 24, 2020 (Week 2).


instructional minute requirements

SB 98 waives EC 46207, yearly instructional minutes, for the 2020-21 school year.

  • Authorizes a local educational agency to meet the minimum requirements for instructional minutes offered during a school day and for instructional days offered in the 2020–21 school year through in-person instruction or a combination of in-person instruction and distance learning.
  • Requires local educational agencies to document pupils’ participation on each school day for which distance learning is provided and to regularly communicate with parents and guardians regarding a pupil’s academic progress.
  • In-person instruction: instruction under the immediate physical supervision and control of a certificated employee of the local educational agency while engaged in educational activities required of the pupil.
    • For in-person instruction, instructional minutes shall be based on time scheduled under the immediate physical supervision and control of an employee of the local educational agency who possesses a valid certification document, registered as required by law.
  • Distance learning: instruction in which the pupil and instructor are in different locations and pupils are under the general supervision of a certificated employee of the local educational agency. 
    • For distance learning, instructional time shall be based on the time value of assignments as determined, and certified to, by an employee of the local educational agency who possesses a valid certification document, registered as required by law. 
    • Distance learning may include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
  1. Interaction, instruction, and check-ins between teachers and pupils through the use of a computer or communications technology.
  2. Video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the pupil and certificated employee is online interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology.
  3. The use of print materials incorporating assignments that are the subject of written
    or oral feedback.
  • For the 2020–21 fiscal year, a local educational agency shall not be required to offer the minimum instructional minutes in physical education required pursuant to Sections 51210, 51220, 51222, and 51223. (Note: this does not waive the state requirement that all students are required to complete two years of physical education in order to be eligible to graduate from high school)
  EC 46207 EC 43501
  Waived 2020-21 In-person/Hybrid/Distance Learning 2020-21
Grade Yearly Minutes/Daily Minutes/Hours Daily Minutes/Hours
K 36,000 min./200 min./3.3 hrs. 180 min./3 hrs.
1-3 50,400 min./280 min./4.6 hrs. 230 min./3.8 hrs.
4-8 54,000 min./300 min./5hrs. 240 min./4hrs. 
9-12 64,800 min./360 min./6hrs. 240 min./4hrs. 


Tiered Reengagement Strategies

  • Tier 1 - Universal Strategies:
  • Teachers take daily attendance for synchronous and asynchronous learning, completing by 4:30 each day.
  • Automatic attendance phone calls go to parents each night at 5:30 p.m. for absences and 6:30 p.m. for disengagement.
  • Teachers use phone calls, emails, text messages, social media, reporting/sharing daily attendance messaging to connect with parents/students.
  • Teachers and administrators should provide positive reinforcement for attendance.
  • Teachers should use applications and tools like Kahoot, Google Jam Board, Zoom Chat/Breakout Rooms, Quizlet, Pear Deck, etc., on a consistent basis to engage all learning actively and creatively to increase student participation (to include SEL).
  • During distance learning, counselors run reports, identify disengaged students and facilitate check-ins for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) connections.
  • All parties communicating with parents and students should focus messaging on the wellness of whole child and family, not just academics or school attendance.
  • Administrators should use school marquees, flyers, newsletters and phone calls to the school community to messages on the importance of engagement and back-to-school messaging.
  • Administrators should keep websites updated with positive messages of distance learning engagement; keep names, contact information, resources up-to-date.
  • Weekly, administrators track/review key data for early identification: chronic absenteeism (non-participation in distance learning), lack of consistent participation, no connectivity/no technology, loss of contact, other barrier to attendance. Then apply reengagement strategies to engage students.
  • Administrators evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and methods of communication to determine which strategies and communication methods yield the greater benefit for engagement.


  • Tier 2 - Targeted/Supplemental Strategies:
  • Counselors should explore virtual mentoring opportunities and recruit classified staff as mentors.
  • Student Study Teams (SST) Teams should evaluate student-learning needs and address continued learning loss.
    • Conduct virtual attendance and SST meetings.
  • Administrator and/or the School Resource Officer conduct home visits/welfare checks on students with 60% or less of engagement.
  • Administrators should use the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) to identity and address barriers to distance learning engagement (for students who are missing 60% of online learning opportunities).
    • SARB Letter 1 send home automatically weekly for qualifying students with non-attendance (participation) enrolled in distance learning.
    • SARB Letter 2 send home at the discretion of the administration.
  • If feasible, the administration should make referrals to “Drop-in” tutoring programs/opportunities.


  • Tier 3 - Intensified Strategies:
  • Administrators should use SARB to focus on resources to mitigate the effects of the lack of distance learning participation.
    • The SARB coordinator should facilitate virtual District Attorney Meetings and SARB Hearings.
    • The SARB Panel creates a SARB contracts for habitually absents/disengaged.  
    • The SARB coordinator should refer students violating the SARB contract to Probation.
  • Administrators should use a multi-agency response to non-participation using the trauma-informed perspective approach.
  • If the student has an IEP, the team should convene to create an attendance goal.
Tiered Re-engagement
Matrix pt 1
Matrix pt 2