Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

Return to Learn: Plan for a Safe Return 2020-2021

The Newport News School Board voted for all students to begin the school year with virtual learning during the first quarter, Sep. 8 to Nov. 2.

FAQ: What Parents and Students Need to Know About Attendance During Virtual Learning


Posted: September 1, 2020

Is attendance required during virtual learning?

School attendance in Virginia remains mandatory even during virtual learning. The law requires all school-age children (those who turn 5 on or before September 30 and have not passed their 18th birthday) to attend school whether it be public, private or home school. This includes participation virtually or in-person.

Why is attendance important during virtual learning?

Regular attendance is an important part of student academic growth. Meaningful interaction between a teacher and a student will count as daily attendance. Also, daily contact from students allows teachers to determine if students are keeping up with assigned work or if a student is in need of additional assistance.

Who will take attendance and how will it be determined if a student is present during virtual learning?

Teachers will take attendance during virtual learning sessions and will give attendance credit for completing assignments in Canvas, engaging in emails with teachers or other school staff; and/or participation in small group activities.

Can students be absent from virtual learning?

If a student cannot participate in any educational activity on a specific day, Newport News Public Schools is requesting that the parent/guardian call or email the teacher or attendance support staff regarding the reason for the absence. Each school will provide parents with contact information regarding absences. For a list of reasons for excused absences, please refer to the division’s attendance policy found in the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

What absences are considered unexcused and what will happen if a student has unexcused absences?

If a student does not log in, make contact with the teacher or complete assignments in Canvas and no contact is received from the parent regarding the absence from participation, the absence will be considered unexcused. Parents have up to five days to provide a reason for the student’s lack of participation on a specific day.

The accumulation of unexcused absences can lead to a referral to the Newport News Juvenile Court; however, Newport News Public Schools has designated staff who will make every effort to develop a plan to resolve unexcused absenteeism. The goal is to provide as much support as possible to keep students engaged, while also providing social-emotional support to students.

What do students/parents do if they are having technology issues?

If a student indicates that they are experiencing technology issues, the student or parent/guardian should contact the NNPS At-Home Learning Support Team. All efforts will be made to ensure access to virtual learning.