Attendance for remote learning among Manteca Unified School District’s 24,000 plus students hit 97.64 percent last Friday.
That rate is higher than what the district was attaining for student attendance before the pandemic emergency was declared in March.
The attendance is part of a robust daily snapshot the district’s Information & Technology Department can provide on demand of how effectively online resources are being used.
The system also generates data that is allowing principals and vice principals not only to reach out and make contact to those students that are not joining classes but also determine if they are not turning in assignments as required or participating in online classroom discussions.
If there are impediments to a student being able to participate in remote learning such as a device issue, not having Internet connectivity, and other issues the on-site administrators will address them. The district, as an example, has hot spots they will provide students to secure Internet access.
In cases such as the migrant family residential area in French Camp where there are numerous housing units clustered together, Manteca Unified dispatches a van each day with equipment that addresses Internet needs.
“It is about making sure every child has equitable access,” noted District Superintendent Clark Burke.
The district’s system notes students that are logged in at the beginning of each teaching period as well as the end of it. There will be times students will log off to work off-line on projects during the course of a class.
Teachers also may have students divided into smaller groups to allow them to work together in addition to instructing an entire class at once.
The district is following new attendance protocols as rolled out by the state.
Last Friday there were 26,000 users on the district’s system between students and teachers. There were also 25,780 Microsoft teams formed — small groups of students working together. That is in addition to 90,000 one-on-one connections primarily a teacher with a student.
With such a high volume of use and the number of devices involved, Community Outreach Coordinator Victoria Brunn noted there will be glitches.
Manteca Unified, though, has avoided major pitfalls such as Modesto City Schools has suffered with their entire system crashing or Tracy Unified School District that still has many of its 8,000 plus kindergarten through eighth grade students without devices needed to start remote learning.
MUSD has avoided many pitfalls suffered by some surrounding districts and many schools throughout California thanks to what was the school board’s controversial decision five years ago to roll out electronic devices to all K-12 students as part of a $30 million Going Digital initiative.
The board has also made “refreshing” tech provided to students and teachers a priority in subsequent budgets.
Arguably the biggest boon from the Going Digital effort was designing a backbone with enough capacity to handle robust use as well as provide for student enrollment growth.
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