**Last Updated: 8/29/2020 at 8:55 am

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 school year will bring new challenges.  The state has released amendments to California SB 98 which contain changes needed to the Ed code for the next school year.  We've summarized the attendance changes for 2020-2021 into a separate document of SB 98 Key Items. Please note that attendance this year does not affect ADA.


NOTE: Overview webinar recording links and materials are  provided below in this document.


Aeries has reviewed this new information and has compiled some suggested procedures below using existing Aeries features to meet these new guidelines.  These recommendations are based on the information we have received up to this point and we will update this document as we learn more.


Attendance Recommendations  


New Absence CodesTypeCount for ADANotes
Distance Learning Engaged *Verified Not AbsentYesDL - Engaged code for Teachers to document student was engaged at some point during the day.
  • If more refinement is desired, instead of Distance Learning-Engaged,  you could create separate codes for DL-Synchronous and DL-Asynchronous.
Distance Learning Not Engaged **

(Required by SB-98)
Unexcused Absence
- Verified **
NoDL - Not Engaged 
  • If attendance verification procedures do not identify a valid reason for the student not being engaged in DL, at any time during that school day, the DL-Not Engaged code should be used.

**NOTE - This is a change from prior recommendations
Distance Learning ExcusedExcused Absence
- Verified
NoExcused Absent code(s) can be added for specific COVID reasons based on local board decisions.
  • Reasons for this code would be for lack of internet or equipment over which the student does not have control or any other reason determined by the school board.
Distance Learning Unexcused **Unexcused Absence
- Verified
NoUnexcused Absent code(s) can be added for specific COVID reasons based on local board decisions. 
  • If attendance verification procedures result in contact with the student or parent, but reason does not qualify for an Excused absence, the DL-Unexcused code should be used.
On CampusVerified Not AbsentYesOn Campus code allows Teachers to document students who were physically present at some point during the school day. This could be useful for Hybrid situations where one group of the students are engaged via Distance Learning and another group are on campus during the same school day.

* Due to new guidance received from CDE and CALPADS, we are no longer recommending that the Independent Study Indicators be used for the Distance Learning codes, as those enrollment/present/absence days will be included with the regular counts of enrollment/present/absent for STAS reporting. Once the codes are updated, please run the Update Attendance History process, if you do not have it configured to automatically update each night. 


**After multiple discussions with CDE on 8/27/2020, we now recommend that the default Absence Code "A" be the ONLY absence code marked as "Unverified Absence" and be used by teachers to indicate any student who is not present when expected, either On Campus or in a Distance Learning environment. It should be updated to the appropriate Verified Absence Code as part of the normal Absence Verification Process. If it was for a day of Distance Learning, and there was no subsequent contact with the student or parent, it should be changed to Distance Learning-Not Engaged (Unexcused Absence-Verified). This will allow schools to track students who may need to be placed on a re-engagement plan. 


Portal Options Settings  


Attendance TabOption NameNotes
Date Range
# of Days Teacher Can Back Post Attendance
Increase the value from 0 days based on district guidelines
Attendance Codes
Additional ATT Codes (up to 5)Populate with the new attendance codes (ABS.CD) to allow teachers to select new codes
Student Fields on Attendance ScreenSTU table fields Only (up to 5)Populate with the designated STU field for grouping students
ATT Note Codes for Quick EntryEnter Attendance Note Codes (ATN.CD) separated by commasPopulate with the new Attendance Note Codes to allow teachers to quickly enter notes
Other Attendance OptionsAllow Teachers to override verified absencesThis will allow teacher to change Verified codes already submitted - Optional, please discuss with admin
Other Attendance OptionsTeachers can Add & Update Attendance NoteNecessary if you have created and identified Quick Attendance Notes for teachers to use.
Other Attendance OptionsTeachers Can View Attendance Notes Added by Others
https://support.aeries.com/support/solutions/articles/14000072496-attendance-notes


Scheduling Recommendations  


Schedule TypeScheduling OptionsDaily Engagement 
Independent Study (all students- all year)

Back-dating ABS codes for IndStudy-Complete


LMS (Learning Management System) reports

Distance Learning Only 

  • Elementary
  • Elementary w/MST
  • Secondary (Traditional Master schedule)


If more refined data tracking is desired, you could track types of Distance Learning:

(Synchronous & Asynchronous)


Note: This model can be used if schools start as all distance learning and then transition to a hybrid model later in the school year.  This prevents having to reschedule students.

Designate a Student field to separate students into groups: 

  • Student User field (STU.U#) or
  • Sched Group (STU.SG)

Making the field selected above visible on the teacher attendance page and rosters will help teachers differentiate which students are on campus and which ones are remote on any given day (Elem or within the same section)

Elementary:

  • Attendance reports
  • LMS
  • Attendance Notes

Secondary:

  • LMS
  • Daily Gradebook Assignments
  • Gradebook Templates with assignments can be created and copied.
  • Attendance Notes

Hybrid: Distance Learning AND On-Campus 

  • Elementary
  • Elementary w/MST
  • Secondary (Traditional Master schedule)


Note: This model can be used if schools start as all distance learning and then transition to a hybrid model later in the school year.  This prevents having to reschedule students.

Designate a Student field to separate students into groups: 

  • Student User field (STU.U#) or
  • Sched Group (STU.SG)

Making the field selected above visible on the teacher attendance page and rosters will help teachers differentiate which students are on campus and which ones are remote on any given day (Elem or within the same section)

Elementary:
  • Attendance reports
  • LMS
  • Attendance Notes

Secondary:

  • LMS
  • Daily Gradebook Assignments
  • Gradebook Templates with assignments can be created and copied.
  • Attendance Notes

Secondary 

  • Staggered starts/stops
  • Overlapping periods
  • More than 10 periods

Must use Flex Scheduling

  • LMS
  • Daily Gradebook Assignments
  • Gradebook Templates with assignments can be created and copied.
  • Attendance Notes

Elementary AM/PM

(All Students)

Designate a Student field to separate students into AM/PM groups:

  • Student User field (STU.U#) or
  • Sched Group (STU.SG)

Making the field selected above visible on the teacher attendance page and rosters will help teachers differentiate which students are AM or PM 

N/A



FAQs:  

Q: What about using A/B Days or MST Days of the Week scheduling?  

A: It's important to keep in mind that just because students may be alternating their days on campus, attendance must be taken on the distance learning days also.  So using A/B Days or MST Days of the Week may leave students without any classes assigned on many days.  A/B Days and MST Days of the Week is about WHEN the class meets, not WHERE it meets.  These classes are still meeting every day, just sometimes on campus and sometimes online and sometimes asynchronously. 

 

Q:  Should I change my schools to use Positive Attendance?

A:  No, Positive attendance schools are designed for hourly attendance and should not be used in this situation.  Adding the new Absence Codes set as "ADA = Yes" will count the student as present for the day and allows tracking of engagement.


Q: How do I track Weekly Engagement as required in SB 98?

A. The Weekly Attendance report can be used to track engagement using the new Absence Codes.  LMS and Gradebook reports can also be used. However, there has been no official guidance on what exactly must be in the Weekly Engagement Reports. We are tracking this issue and will make any adjustments needed. 


Q: What about the STAS file for End of Year Reporting?

A: CALPADS has not yet finalized changes needed for end of year Student Attendance Summary (STAS) reporting. We participate in regular vendor meetings and will adjust our EOY process when the changes are final. However, using the new attendance codes will facilitate any changes we might have to make along the line to comply, since Attendance History would be update to adjust to any changes made.


Q: How will this affect Chronically Absenteeism reporting?

A:  A student who does not participate daily in either in-person instruction or distance learning should be marked with an absence code specific to the type of instruction. This will help the school track any absences for purposes of reporting chronic absenteeism rates as usual. Remember for 2020-2021, absences do NOT affect ADA funding.

  • If the student was expected On Campus and was not present, the usual attendance procedure would be followed 
    • Teacher marks with A-Unverified and office staff attempts to verify reason for the absence. If it remains unverified, it is changed to a code for Unexcused Absence-Verified. 
  • If the student was expected to engage via Distance Learning and does not participate, the usual attendance procedure would be followed
    • Teacher marks with A-Unverified and office staff attempts to verify reason for the absence. If it remains unverified, it is changed to a code for DL-Not Engaged (Unexcused Absence-Verified)


Q: How can teachers and staff track non-engagement?

A: One easy way to track non-engagement would be to use color-coding for Absence codes. This option is explored in the Setup Absence Codes document. For this year, every day for attendance will have codes; there should be no blanks. If the Distance Learning-Not Engaged codes are colored red, then teachers could visually see students who are having trouble staying engaged, and can reach out to the parents for re-engagement strategies.


Q: Are there any future development plans for making attendance tracking easier?

A: Yes. Based on survey results, we are planning to do the following. Links to Aeries Ideas are included:


Q:  Can changes be made to the Absence Code (ABS) table after school has been started?

A:  Yes, If any changes are made to the Absence Code (ABS) table, then the Update Attendance History function will need to be run to update the Attendance History table.
This may be necessary this school year to support CALPADS guidelines for the STAS file that have not been released yet. The Update Attendance History function will update the Attendance History table from the current attendance and update the correct AHS fields need for the STAS extract.


Q: What is the timeline for adopting a local accountability plan for the 2020–21 school year?

A:  SB98 provides that school districts, county boards of education, and charter schools are NOT required to adopt a local control and accountability plan for the 2020–21 school year.  The bill instead would require the governing board of a school district, a county board of education, and the governing body of a charter school to adopt a learning continuity and attendance plan by September 30, 2020. 


Q: Do I need to tag my sections as Distance Learning?
A: Yes, per Update Flash 187, any section used for Distance Learning as of Information Day, should be tagged  with a "Y" in the TCH.DLI or MST.DLI fields.


Q: What Online Instruction Type code should be used for the Distance Learning sections?
A: All Distance Learning sections can be populated with Code 1 for both Synchronous and Asynchronous learning in the TCH.OIT or MST.OTD fields. If students return to school full time by Info day, the Distance Learning Indicator for those sections can be removed. 

At this time CALPADS says to leave the indicators set as they existing on Information Day. For Full-Time Independent Study, and fully-online courses, continue to use the Distance Learning Indicator with the codes the same as before COVID  


Glossary  

  • Hybrid - some days onsite, some days distance learning
  • 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. 
    • Synchronous - two-way, real-time/live, virtual instruction between teachers and student when students are not on campus.
    • Asynchronous - students at home participating at different times.  Instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper.
  • Independent Study - student enrolled in district's IS program 

Overview Scheduling Scenario and Hybrid Learning Sessions  


On July 29th and July 30th, 2020, we offered free sessions that introduced scheduling scenarios webinars that can help schools decide the best fit and set up for their custom scheduling. Four different sessions were available. Session recording and worksheet links are included below for anytime viewing. 

            Session Worksheet: 

            https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/EfKGc8RUvFdIrOebXd-21twB2FZtlZAII4Kx5a-JQCy39w

            Session Worksheet:                                                 https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/EaavkZ_6MzdAjQ4gQzmIXHEB0hFJOP6qXjD6zuLblkP3WA 


            Session Worksheet:                                     https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/ER37U5vejJJMveHwgudmO5kBREgXaAyGj70ZxdAjBwAYlQ?e=AUIiAu


           Session Worksheet:

           https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/ER37U5vejJJMveHwgudmO5kBREgXaAyGj70ZxdAjBwAYlQ?e=AUIiAu


           Session Worksheet:

            https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/ERO3A0z9LpNInHMaxjyV42YBg2SJOVi3zJTddr6IGQkkjw




Portal Options

Independent Study