Updates to Melissa ISD Attendance Reporting Procedures for the 2020-2021 School Year

Banner: Attendance Reporting Updates


Sep 2020
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This information was sent to Melissa ISD parents and guardians via Remind.

As Melissa ISD navigates this new education model where we have students learning on campus and online, we continue to strengthen our understanding of what works well and doesn’t work well for families, while remaining in compliance with state requirements.

After reflecting on feedback that we have received from parents/guardians and staff regarding our attendance reporting procedures, and after evaluating alternative options, the district has come up with a solution that we hope will ease some of the initial frustration experienced during the first few weeks of the 2020-2021 school year.

In short, we are improving how we report our students’ daily attendance across Melissa Schools, which in turn will adjust the frequency of absence notifications that parents/guardians may receive from the Ascender Parent Portal.

Please see the below for additional details on how your student’s daily attendance will be reported going forward. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and partnership.

How your student’s daily attendance is reported:

For In-Person Learners:

If your student does attend school on campus, they will be marked present.

If your student is going to be absent from school on campus, a parent or guardian must report the absence to the school that day by submitting an absence report online using the Absence Report Form.

  • Depending on your notification settings in the Ascender Parent Portal, you could receive an attendance alert for this in-person absence.
  • A student who is absent from in-person school has the option of learning remotely online through Schoology, as long as a parent or guardian has notified the school of the absence.
  • If your student will be learning remotely online, they must log in to Schoology and complete assignments by 11:59 p.m. that day.
  • Within the week of the in-person absence, the school will review the student’s progress made in Schoology and will determine if the student’s in-person absence can be changed to present (RA = remote asynchronous) for that day.
    • Students in grades 9-12 who are determined to be present (RA = remote asynchronous), will be held accountable to complete all assignments and lessons in each course for that day.

For 100% Virtual Learners:

  • Virtual students’ attendance reporting will be delayed by one business day in order to allow for asynchronous online student engagement.
  • Each school day, your virtual student will be marked present (RA = remote asynchronous) by default and will have until 11:59 p.m. to log in to Schoology and make progress with their online coursework.
  • If your student does log in to Schoology by 11:59 p.m. and make progress with their online coursework, they will remain marked present (RA = remote asynchronous).
  • If your virtual student does not log in by 11:59 p.m., their daily attendance will be changed to absent the following business day. Depending on your notification settings in the Ascender Parent Portal, you could receive an attendance alert for this absence the following business day.

How to update attendance alerts in the Parent Portal:

In the Ascender Parent Portal, you can control whether or not you receive attendance alerts for each student in your household. To update your notification settings, follow the steps below.

  1. Log in to the Ascender Parent Portal.
  2. Select “Alerts” from the navigation menu and select “Set Alerts”.
  3. Under “Attendance Alerts”, you can set your alert preference for Unexcused Absences, Excused Absences, and Tardies. Your changes will automatically save.

As part of this update, we have added further clarification to the “Student Attendance” section of the Melissa ISD Return-to-School Plan, also noted in bold below, regarding in-person absences.

Student Attendance

  • Per the Texas Education Code, students must attend 90 percent of a course in order to be awarded credit, with some exceptions. During the 2020-2021 school year, student attendance can be earned through in-person school or through virtual school.
  • Students attending virtual school must make daily progress each day that school is in session in order to be considered “present” on a particular day.
  • Students attending in-person school must be at school in order to be marked present that day.*
    • *Students can be absent from in-person school and still be counted present if they engage in remote learning via Schoology. In this case, on the day of the in-person absence, the parent or guardian must report the absence to the school and the student must complete assignments in Schoology by 11:59 p.m. to be considered present (RA = remote asynchronous).
  • In the event that a temporary in-person school closure is needed, all students in the district will remotely learn from home until it is safe to return to the school building.
  • Please work with your student’s school if you believe that an abundance of absences may take place, and/or if truancy is a concern, due to conditions surrounding COVID-19.

Any questions regarding attendance procedures can be directed to your student’s school.

Media Contact:
Maddie Coe, Director of Communications

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