School district: About 4{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} of students aren’t logging in



LAURINBURG — Scotland County Schools has seen a drop of 4{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} in student attendance from the Fall 2019 semester to Fall 2020, as students have been working at home, bringing the attendance for the first fully remote semester with a rate of 90{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}.

With 5,415 students in the school system, it means 541 are not logging on.

However, the attendance rate is calculated by if students are logging into each class they have, so a student could be present for one class and not another, which figures into the percentage each way.

Those who have no access to the internet and instead have the classes saved to a flash drive which can be picked up each week and by turning in the assignments they’ll be counted as attending the class.

In the district, Shaw Academy has the lowest attendance rate at 76.09{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} while Scotland Early College High School had the highest attendance rate at 98.09{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}. All the other schools in the county were between 84 and 89{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} with the attendance rates.

These rates are sent to the state every 20 days in the principal’s monthly report.

At the January Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Valarie Williams spoke to the board about students who have missed 10 or more consecutive days.

“When you just glance at it the first thing that I thought was it would be more of our third, fourth and fifth graders more of those upper-grade levels that have those consecutive absences,” Williams said. “But as you look at it, most of our absences is in the K-2 grades with 3 in kindergarten, 39 in first grade, 48 in second grade.”

Williams added she sat down with principals to discuss why K-2 is so high with students not attending classes. She was told they have a large number of students in those grade levels with iPads which are shattered.

“What we think is happening, is with our small babies are somehow getting the iPads out of the protective case,” Williams said. “And we’re having a lot of iPads that are broken. When those iPads are broken we have to put packets together for those students and to make sure our students are getting packets, they are not even asking those parents to come to the schools to pick them up they are delivering them to the house.”

Williams continued, saying that sometimes the packets are not being completed or no one is answering the door for the packets to be delivered.

Public Information Officer Meredith Bounds added the schools have been working on different strategies to keep students and families engaged including drive-through awards and recognition’s, outdoor meetings and after-hours meetings.

For students who are not logging in at all the district has been going to do socially distanced home visits along with daily calls made to parents when students are absent.

“Not only do we ask what services are needed but I want to know who the students are,’ Williams said. “If you can tell me who they are then you can put a face with them … then the principals can show you the logs from where teachers have been out, they have been out, counselors have been out, where social workers have been out … they know and can tell you who those students are, what plans they have in place and the ones that are those hard, hard, hard to reach.”

The district is working on a three-fold attendance plan which will look at the accuracy of data for parents to look at the attendance of their students and more information will be looked at during the next Board of Education meeting.

Katelin Gandee can be reached at [email protected] To support the Laurinburg Exchange, subscribe here:

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