With attendance now mandatory, local schools work to make sure kids log on


CHULA VISTA, Calif. — As Chula Vista Elementary School District begins the new year with distance learning, educators are trying to figure out how to best ensure attendance during the pandemic.

Roll call will be a bit trickier now that teachers will not be physically present with their students, but the school board wants to stress the importance of making sure students log onto their classes.

“The big difference between this year and distance learning last year is attendance is required,” said Chula Vista Elementary School District Spokesperson Anthony Millican. “We do expect students to log in and participate daily.”

“We also encourage parents to make sure they have their children rested and ready to learn,” Millican added.

If any child is absent 60% or more during any given week, they will be contacted by teachers, district social workers and site administrators to create a plan to re-engage them, officials said.

The district is in the process of distributing more than 6,000 laptops to children with technology needs.

The school year set to start virtually on August 31. In-person classes are merely a goal for the future, but some families already feel that the district is behind on preparing educators and students for their eventual return.

“It’s scary, I don’t want my son to go back to school,” Arlene King, who is both a parent and a teacher, told FOX 5 Wednesday.

King and a handful of protesters held signs outside of the district building to make their concerns heard. The protesting parents are calling for nurses at all school sites, special air filters, community input and other demands proposed by the teachers union before eventually reopening campuses.

“We’re certainly exploring that,” Millican said. “We are a long way from opening. As with anything, costs are exorbitant. It’s not only nurses, we’re looking at millions of dollars of personal protective equipment.”

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