NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Technology woes, a cause for worry. Nearly 600 students still haven’t shown up for online classes, according to new information provided by a Metro Nashville Public Schools spokesman today.
It echoes a story out of Memphis, where our sister station reports around 3,000 students aren’t in front of their computers learning now that school has started.
According to MNPS spokesman Sean Braisted, the average daily attendance at MNPS has been well over 90 percent since the virtual year got its start on August 4. MNPS had 589 students who haven’t logged in to Schoology as of Monday, September 14.
News 2 is told some of these students may have transferred and never notified MNPS.
“It’s hard to paint a complete picture of these 589 students without doing some further study,” said Braisted, “We can assume that some have left and aren’t coming back, but we don’t know exactly how many at the moment. But, as we do every year, we’re aggressively reaching out to families whenever we know a student isn’t regularly participating, and we’re working with them to try to get them caught up.”
The district went on to say that the average daily count is expected to rise after the district withdraws students who never attended.
“Students are automatically enrolled in school grade after grade, so every year, MNPS must withdraw students who do not attend because they have moved or attended another school without informing the district,” said Braisted.
It is important to note, the amount of unaccounted-for students is less than one percent of the overall student population.
“We’re always concerned when we aren’t connecting with students for whatever reason. But we’re working hard to make those connections. We want every child to be prepared for the opportunities they deserve,” said Braisted.
To help compare this year’s ‘absentees’ compared to last year, News 2 was hoping to obtain the number of kids absent this time last year at MNPS.
The district responded, saying quote: “This is obviously a unique year, and we don’t really have an apples to apples comparison, since we’re generally dealing with physical attendance rather than virtual log-ins,” stated Braisted.
Every year, including now with virtual learning, MNPS’ school attendance teams, Enrollment Center division, and Attendance Services division use attendance data to work with schools to target outreach to students and families who are enrolled but have not yet attended or engaged.
The virtual learning help centers opened in late August to further assist families who may have technology challenges, need tech support, or who still lack access to computers or hotspots, which have been provided through MNPS since July.
Virtual attendance policies and procedures for MNPS can be found by clicking here.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.