Frequently Asked Questions for Families about the 2020-2021 School Year.
What is the potential impact of unexcused absences on my child’s grades and promotion to the next grade?
For the 2020-2021 school year, attendance is not a prerequisite for grades and promotion.
We encourage students to log in regularly to their scheduled courses and complete assignments. However, due to a wide range of schedules and lessons, students who are tardy will not be penalized in their attendance records when learning at home.
What will occur if my child misses more than 20 days consecutively of instruction when learning at home?
If a student registered in school is absent 20 days in a row without an excuse (i.e., does not log into Canvas or contact their school to indicate attendance), they may be withdrawn due to non-attendance. This applies to all students in Pre-K through 12th grade regardless of whether they are in-boundary or out-of-boundary. Students can return to their neighborhood school to re-enroll but are subject to the wait list if they are attempting to re-enroll in an out-of-boundary school.
Generally, absences not listed here on the attendance page, including extended travel, are considered unexcused. If a student or parent/guardian anticipates an absence not covered by the excused absences listed, they may submit a request for an excused absence due to a special circumstance to their school principal. The principal will consult with their Instructional Superintendent before determining whether to grant the excused absence request.
My child missed learning from home for an entire day. What types of absences are considered “excused” and how do I notify the school?
Any absence for an entire day without a valid excuse is marked as an unexcused absence. When learning at home, an absence is when a student does not log in to Canvas and/or call the school to indicate they completed their coursework through another mechanism, such as paper packets due to technology issues. Click here for a list of absences that may be classified as an excused absence.
Will my child be considered absent for the day if they do not participate in synchronous (live) instruction?
No. While it is important that students are engaging with their teacher during live instruction, attendance will not be taken at the course level. Students’ daily attendance expectation is that they log into Canvas at least once a day. If this requirement is met, students will not be considered absent.
I am concerned that my Pre-K child will not consistently engage in virtual-only learning at home. How will this will impact their attendance?
We understand the unique needs of this age group and recognize that young children learn best through active engagement and cannot be expected to thrive in a digital-only environment.
We also know families may have childcare arrangements or other circumstances that may not make it possible to join live, online lessons. The online platforms and access to daily lessons for Pre-K students will be flexible as we look to accommodate participation with varying daily schedules.
For learning at home, attendance will be recorded based on the student logging into Canvas, DCPS’ Learning Management System, each day between 6:00 am and 11:59 pm. Canvas participation will be transferred to a student’s Aspen attendance record on a daily basis. Teachers will monitor participation in live synchronous instruction as well as tracking successful engagement with online learning activities. If students need to miss a live synchronous class, they should communicate with a teacher about how to make up for missed learning.