Attendance During Fully Virtual Learning

Reporting an absence
In a virtual learning environment, there will be both asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities and some learning in which students will be able to work at their own pace. There will be times when a student is unable to participate in learning activities due to illness or other reasons (all-day medical appointment, college visit, job shadow, travel, etc).   

Please consider these guidelines to determine when you will need to call the main attendance office  to report an absence:  

  • Student  is too ill to log in, connect, engage in any learning opportunities for an entire day or portion of the day (excused absence due to illness)
  • Students are unable to log in, connect, engage due to other allowable excused  absences.
  • Student has an appointment that is longer than one-half of the scheduled school day and will not be able to log in, connect, engage due to other allowable excused  absences

Note: Elementary Virtual School students should report their absence to their home school office. 

Below are some scenarios that will not require you to report your absence to the main attendance office but it is strongly suggested that you communicate with your child’s teacher:

  • You have an appointment for less than half of the scheduled school day but will still be able to  log in, connect, engage and participate in learning activities
  • You have mild illness symptoms but can still log in, connect, engage and participate in learning activities
  • Your family is traveling but your child is still able to log in, connect, engage and participate in learning activities

When in doubt, please call the school and reach out to your child’s teacher.

Attendance Letters

Past practice in the AASD has been to automatically send an attendance reminder letter when a child has missed a total of 7 school days. In addition, an attendance reminder letter is sometimes sent when a child has missed a total of 10 school days (in compliance with the State of Wisconsin Compulsory Attendance Law.  

This year, we will still monitor attendance and use the same thresholds of missing 7 days and 10 days. This is essential for our staff to connect with and provide support for students who are struggling to engage, for a variety of reasons.

Key staff members will use these metrics to reach out to students and parents in an effort to decrease barriers and challenges to attendance or participation in learning opportunities.

The Appleton Area School District believes there is a positive relationship between school attendance and student success. It further believes that school attendance is a responsibility shared by students, parents, schools, and community.

The District, in accordance with State law, requires that all students between six and eighteen years of age (and those students enrolled in 5-year-old kindergarten) attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the school in which the child is enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the student becomes 18 years of age, unless they have an acceptable excuse, meet attendance exceptions outlined in state law, or have graduated from high school.

Although not required by state law, students in 4-year-old kindergarten are expected to attend 4K programming on a regular basis, and excused and unexcused absences will be determined based on the procedures described in this policy. It is the responsibility of each school’s attendance officer to determine if an absence is excused, unexcused, or truant.

A student will be considered excused for school attendance if the student is considered temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend school but can be expected to return upon termination or abatement of the illness or condition. The school attendance officer may request that the parent/guardian obtain a written statement documenting the existing condition.

A student may be excused in writing by the parent/guardian prior to an absence occurring. Under this provision, absences through prior parent request cannot exceed 10 days in a school year. A student who has reached the age of 16 years and meets criteria established in Wisconsin statutes may also be excused from school attendance to participate in programs leading to high school graduation or high school equivalency.

No student shall be denied credit in a course or subject solely because of an excused or unexcused absence.

Tips for Parents

  • Establish and stick to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
  • Talk to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or after school provider to get them excited about going to school.
  • Come up with back up plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down, etc.).
  • Reach out for help if you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, after-school providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to a needed resource.
  • If your child is absent, work with the teacher to make sure she or he has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed.