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Pandemic era daily attendance drops 5.7 percent
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Average daily attendance is down 5.7 percent in Manteca Unified so far this term compared to the last pre-pandemic school year in 2019-2020.

The drop, while significant, is lower than in many school districts throughout the state.

Before the pandemic hit in March 2020, 96.95 percent of enrolled students attended school on any given day. As of the end of September school year to date average daily attendance was down to 91.25 percent.

Superintendent Clark Burke noted the absentee numbers for August was even higher but started trending downward in September and are even lower now.

While specific data is not available to the reason, the biggest change schools are dealing with are COVID-19 related quarantines that families are dealing with or imposing on themselves.

Under district policy students who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 if asymptomatic — meaning no symptoms are present.

The California Department of Public Health recommends that vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to the virus are tested 3-5 days after last exposure and wear a face covering in all public spaces for 14 days.

Unvaccinated students who begin to show COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home to isolate. They are encouraged to get tested for the virus. 

Manteca Unified, as well as surrounding districts such as Ripon and Tracy had attendance rates in the mid to high 90s prior to the pandemic. Districts in large urban areas such as Stockton, the Los Angeles Basin and Bay Area had average daily attendance in the high 80s and low 90s.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has mandated all school staff and students that don’t qualify for strict religious or medical exemptions to be vaccinated once vaccines are made available to younger ages. Based on language that ties such a mandate into the academic calendar it is unlikely the Sacramento requirement will be imposed before the start of the next school year in August.

Currently the stated requires all school staff to be fully vaccinated or submit weekly COVID test results.

Everyone on school campuses, regardless of their vaccination status, is required to wear masks.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email