Attendance looks dramatically different in the COVID-19 era of remote and online learning, and states are grappling with setting policies that account for what attendance should mean and what it should look like. The Aurora Institute has responded to multiple requests for technical assistance on this subject with a new issue brief, Determining Attendance and Alternatives to Seat-Time.
While COVID-19 offers numerous opportunities to advance systems change and free K-12 of its limiting factory-model structures, schools and districts are grappling with very real and present issues in ensuring students can access learning and progress along their learning journey. Analysis from the Aurora Institute shows that states can best remedy this issue by allowing the flexibility of districts and schools to develop an attendance policy using a combination of options. These options include, but are not limited to:
- Time on task (can include engagement)
- Evidence of student work
- Competency-based attainment with demonstrations of building skills, competencies, and knowledge
The issue brief contains 10 examples for creating attendance policies for learning remotely, including competency-based attainment. In addition, the researchers offer policies from four states using seat-time alternatives as one of many policies to advance toward personalized, competency-based education.