Second nine-week grading period is critical for student attendance and participation


Is your child keeping up with schoolwork and attending classes regularly and on time? If the answer to this question is no, parents should be aware that virtual learning may not be the best option for your child, and as we approach the second nine-week grading period, the face-to-face model might be a better choice. Whether attending school in-person or virtually, students are responsible for a full day of participation and should check in at the beginning of each class period for attendance and instructions.

Dallas ISD is meeting and talking with parents, administrators and teachers to create a plan to address learning loss experienced by some students during the upheaval caused by the pandemic. As this process continues, families are urged to work with schools to keep their child learning, whether virtually or in person, and to avoid truancy and the related penalties.

With the school year quickly approaching the end of the first nine-week grading period, campuses are reaching out to parents to inform them of their child’s record of attendance. Parents are urged to check their child’s school attendance via Parent Portal or a call to campus and to contact the school to share any reasons why their student has been unable to attend classes at the assigned time.

Chief of School Leadership Jolee Healey says establishing parental rules and norms for students around regular school attendance can make the difference between success and failure. “In spite of the pandemic’s impact on this school year, we ask parents to help persuade students that just as in normal times, effort is essential to success. Teachers and counselors stand ready to assist any student who asks for help and demonstrates effort by showing up in class, remotely or in person.”

As the school year enters the second nine-week grading period Nov. 9, campuses are calling and sending letters to the homes of students who have poor attendance. Parents should know that school attendance is mandatory for most students under age 19, and that consistent attendance is strongly linked to successful academic performance.

Parents who have chosen a virtual option for their student should be aware that while some students thrive in a virtual attendance setting, other students need the structure of an in-person classroom setting. Students who are not attending class regularly or who need more direct attention may be signaling that virtual classes are not a good option for them. In such cases, schools are recommending that parents move their students from virtual classes to in-person attendance five days a week.

Parents should also know that schools are making every effort to protect on-campus learners. Social distancing, wearing masks, Plexiglas shields and other protective measures are in place on every campus. High schools are offering a hybrid attendance model in which students attend in-person classes on alternate days.

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