TEA announced that they will be adjusting their usual requirements for attendance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As school funding is tied to schools’ average daily attendance (ADA), this would provide some stability in funding for schools who face uncertainty in the coming school year. Education commissioner Mike Morath stated that the adjustment only applies for the 2020-21 school year.
TEA will require schools to replace their typical attendance measurement policies with alternative policies to accommodate remote learning. For schools that opt for Remote Synchronous Instruction, in which students meet with teachers remotely at a specified time for two-way virtual instruction, attendance will be recorded daily at a locally selected time in basically the same manner by which teachers typically take attendance. Students must be connected to their class meeting on their electronic devices or over the phone for their attendance to be counted.
For schools that opt for Remote Asynchronous Instruction, in which students do not directly engage with teachers for instruction but instead learn from pre-recorded video lessons or set tasks outlined by the teacher, students will earn daily attendance through daily engagement measures. The approved engagement methods are as follows: daily progress in the Learning Management System (LMS), as defined in the approved learning plan; daily progress via teacher-student interactions, as defined in the approved learning plan; or completion/Turn-in of assignments from student to teacher (potentially via email, online, or mail). No matter what method of engagement schools choose, the instructional method must address the required curriculum as outlined by TEA. This new flexibility will not provide state funding for a remote synchronous method for Pre-K through 2nd grade.
For a full outline of TEA’s new plan for measuring attendance, click here.