Attendance & School Absence

 

Attendance at UTVA

 

UTVA is on an online public charter school with a set school schedule. The school year consists of 180 school days starting in August and ending in June. Students are required to log in and be in school unless indicated as a holiday or break by the school district. Please refer to our SCHOOL CALENDAR for approved holidays and breaks.

Students at UTVA need to log in into school every school day using their student user name and password. If a student does not log in, the day is recorded as an unexcused absence.

Learning Coaches DO NOT need to log/enter attendance hours for their student. UTVA captures students attendance electronically when students:

  • Log into their school account
  • Attend live classes
  • Do daily required work 

It is recommended for the Learning coaches of elementary students to log in almost daily and of middle and high school students weekly. Please do  not use a K12 app, just use any browser from any device and click OLS log in. If your student is spending less than 5.5 hours a day on their school (online and offline) in grades 3-12, is all caught up on school work and has passing grades, then you can supplement their education with other educational activities (physical activity, music lessons, reading, etc.).

Please check your student’s progress and grades and, if your student has any missed assignments, lessons, quizzes, etc., have them work on catching up or on improving their grade for the assignments that received a low grade. Grades are available under Grade Tab inside each course. Reach out to your teacher(s) for help on academics and to your mentor/homeroom teacher for any other questions or issues.

If you feel your student needs more challenge in their academics, reach out to your mentor or homeroom teacher and/or counselor to see if there other options available to them such as advanced courses or supplemental activities, music, foreign language, art, AP, CE, CTE courses, etc. And if your student struggles, please reach out to your mentor/homeroom teacher as well. Regular and timely communication with school staff is critical for your student’s success.

Attendance Requirements

  • Daily school attendance is required.

  • School year consists of 180 school days listed on UTVA calendar found HERE.

  • Students are marked present for the day when they log into student school account, come to classes on their schedule, work on lessons and assignments.

  • Student is marked absent when there is no student log in for the day.

  • Logging into school is required during school business hours (8 am-5 pm) but no later than 10 pm.

  • Weekend log in is not recorded as an attendance day.

  • When there are no live classes listed on a school day, logging into school account and working on assignments is required.

  • 90% + attendance is encouraged.

  • Students can have up to 5 absence days per quarter, or 18 days per year.

  • Missing more than 10% of school days is considered chronic absence.

  • Sick days can be excused by parent by filling out an electronic form found on this page.

  • For absences to be marked as excused with over 3 consecutive school days, supporting documentation is required.

  • At 10 consecutive school days of no log in, students will be withdrawn for attendance policy.

3 A’s of Attendance

EVERY SCHOOL DAY

  1. Attend school by logging into student school account
  2. Attend classes by coming to live online classes
  3. Attend to courses by working in their courses

 

Recommended Log in for Learning Coaches:

  • Daily for elementary students
  • Weekly for middle and high school
Attendance for School and Class
At UTVA it is required that on every school day students log into k12 student account and come to live classes conducted by live certified teachers. Attending live classes is mandatory in UTVA. There are some exceptions when a student has a medical condition or other circumstances that don’t allow live class attendance. In these cases, a student needs to be formally approved for async track by each course teacher or by an administrator to allow a student to watch recordings. Students still need to log into school every school day, even while on async track.

In UTVA we track 2 types of attendance:

1) attendance to school for the day
2) attendance to live classes

For a student to be counted as attending school for the day, the student needs to log into their student school account, which means they need to go to k12.com, click OLS log in, and log in with student user name and password. The hours to be spent on school are listed above and can include working on online lessons, quizzes, assignments, time spent in class connect classes, zoom classes, time student spends doing offline work, also working on other external websites required for school like i-ready, reflex math and so forth. To be counted present in class, a student needs to come to live class connects or zoom classes and complete exit tickets or whatever the teachers asks to show student was present. Attending classes is part of the grade and students earn points towards their grade. In some courses, attending a class can be as high as 80% of the grade, because in that class students complete school work or demonstrate mastery of a certain concept while in class.

No live classes in class schedule - school is still in session

If your student has no live  classes on a school day, he/she is still required to log into school on k12.com as a student and work on lessons and assignments. “No live classes” doesn’t mean “no school”. Students need to attend school by logging in into k12.com every school day that is listed on our school calendar. If there is no live class, they need to work on assignments and lessons or catch up on past school work in their school account.

Attendance Notices

Each students is required to log into school during school hours (8am-5pm) but no later than 10 pm.

Student is considered absent for a full day if there is no student log in, no class attendance, no time spent in courses for that school day.

We send automated attendance phone messages home:

  • Same day in the afternoon after a student misses a class
  • Next day when a student misses a full day of school

We send email notifications for absences:

Daily

Missing consecutively 3, 5, 7, 8, 9,10 days

Missing more than 10% of school days

Extended no log in by Learning Coach

Consecutive 3 days – Notification of Attendance Letter

Consecutive 7 days – Citation #1

Consecutive 10 days – Citation #2

At 10 consecutive days of missing school the student is withdrawn from UTVA for truancy per attendance policy.

Errors in “Missed Class” notifications
If you notice an error in a “missed class” notification that you get, for example your child’s grade or something else is not correct, please write down the day you got this message. Let your mentor know via email. We will find an error and fix it. We already fixed a lot of errors that happened in the past, so if it is a past issue, you don’t need to worry about it. Going forward, please write down a date and what was the error and email your mentor. If you don’t have a date and specifics, we can’t fix it. We need to know specifics.

If you think your child was in zoom class or class connect, but you got a message he/she missed class, then please let your course teacher know via email. They are the ones marking class attendance and can help you: maybe your child didn’t do exit ticket, or something else happened, so you can fix it with your course teacher.

Learning Coach and Attendance

The Learning Coach needs to make sure student comes to school and attends classes every school day

LC Responsibilities:

  • Make sure student comes to school every school day on time by logging into school on K12.com and using student user name and password.
  • FYI: Student logging into school from the Learning Coach account doesn’t count as attending school.
  • Make sure student comes to live classes on time as scheduled in their class schedule.
  • Monitor student progress and grades daily and make sure student is on track and making daily progress, reach out to mentors, teachers, counselor as needed.
  • Review student’s lessons and assignments and help your student as needed, but not complete lessons or assignments for them.
  • Prepare materials if needed especially if your student is in younger students.
  • Monitor student’s school engagement (check if student logs in, comes to classes, completes required work daily).
  • Read and respond to emails or other communications from school.
  • Answer and respond to phone calls from school.
  • Learning Coach doesn’t need to enter attendance hours like was need in the past but needs to make sure student is spending the time needed for school every day (see daily hour requirements) by following school expectations for attendance and being on track.
Attendance Interventions and Support

Tier 3 School Engagement Support

If a student has chronic absenteeism or truancy and is not communicating with teachers and staff, the student and parent are required to meet with an administrator to discuss student’s class connect attendance, course grades, time spent in each online course, and barriers keeping the student from being fully engaged in school.

If a student is not attending class and there is no communication with the parent, a police well check may be requested.

If a student has a social/ emotional or technology barrier keeping the student from being fully engaged in school and there is communication with the parent, a meeting in a Zoom room or a home visit is scheduled to provide support and training to insure the student can engage in school.

 

Other Attendance Interventions:

  • Tiered interventions and support.  Tier 3 and 4 At-Risk
  • Student conference to discuss attendance problems
  • Parent conference with parent submitting appropriate document-able reason for the student missing school and to discuss possible solutions to the problem presented by the parent.
  • Absence make-up sessions
  • Referral to student services
  • Referral to counselor
  • Change of schedule
  • Home visit
  • Referral to social worker
  • Attendance contract
  • Refer student for evaluation
  • In-school suspension
  • Issuance of Truancy Citation #1
  • Issuance of Truancy Citation #2
  • UTVA attendance school
  • Referral to truancy court and or DCFS

Absences for 3+ Days:

How to excuse:

  • Fill out an online absence request form on our website.
  • Let mentor or homeroom teacher know as soon as you can.
  • Take a picture or scan the doctor’s note or other documentation and email it to your mentor or homeroom teacher.
  • Mentor forwards your note to our data manager who records as excused.
  • When student is back at school, contact mentor and subject teachers, create a make-up plan, and make-up work and trying to get back on-track.

FYI

After 5 consecutive days student needs to log into school to avoid issues.

Technical Issues

Attending online school gives you the freedom to log into school and complete school work from any computer with internet access. When parents enroll their students into UTVA they agree to provide a working computer and internet access.

Technical issues do not merit a valid excuse.  It is your responsibility to attend school and make arrangements to have internet access.  If you experience technical or internet difficulties, libraries, relatives, or family friends are good resources to use until your technical difficulties are resolved.

If you need additional support, contact your homeroom teacher or mentor or UTVA student services team.

Contact k12 tech support open 24/7 to get technical issues resolved: 866-K12-CARE (866-512-2273) or help.k12.com or

Internet  Computer Resources.

Click HELP in your school account then search for the issue you are having. See suggested solutions and try to fix yourself.

Can’t log in: click Forgot Username or Password. You will be prompted to put in your security word. If you haven’t set up security word, then call K12.

FYI: write down the ticket number for future reference. If you called several times with the same issue, you can report the issue to your mentor, but we can’t help you without ticket numbers.

Other simple solutions to try: clear cache and cookies in your browser, try using another browser, Firefox and Chrome are recommended browsers, restart or turn off and on your computer, check your internet connection; it has to be stable for live class, move closer to your Wifi router, switch from Wifi to wired connection, use your phone hot spot; check on FB learning Coach connections group if there might be system update, check your email for tech issue notifications.

Create a Back-Up Plan

We suggest of coming up with a back-up plan for the times when there might be computer difficulties or internet outages, so your student does school without interruptions (another family computer, a friend’s or neighbor’s computer, tablet, Chromebook, smart phone, internet at a library, or other free Wifi place). It’s up to the parent to have this plan.

Missing days of school can result in truancy and a loss of valuable learning time.

Valid Excused Absences
  • Illness: more than 3 days require a doctor’s note (email to homeroom teacher)
  • Approved school activity (outings, school events, etc)
  • Doctor, Dentist, Orthodontic, Counseling Appointments (these are still encouraged to take place outside of school hours)
  • Pre-Approved Family Vacation (as long as the vacation does not jeopardize the academic progress of the student. Please communicate with teacher prior to vacation) and follow vacation policy.
  • Funeral of family member or close family friend
  • Otherwise excused by a healthcare or accomodation plan or IEP

Student is required to complete all missed work.

Parent Excused Absences
Parents can excuse up to 5 days in a quarter. The rest of the days students have to log into school. Missing more than 10% of school days (more than 5 days in a quarter) is considered being excessively absent and truant. We follow truancy process and even refer students and parents to truancy court if needed.

In high school the days during the finals (end of block, end of semester) cannot be excused. Assignments must be submitted by the deadlines set by the teachers.

Vacation Policy

You can request vacation days under following conditions:

  1. Student is in good standing on attendance (not truant or missing excessive number of days, 90+% attendance) and on-track in classes (grade 75+% in all classes).
  2. Vacation request submitted in advance, approved by your mentor or homeroom teacher and administrator.
  3. Vacation days request is no more than 5 school days (students must log in after 5 consecutive days and continue in school).
  4. Make-up plan sent to the mentor and assignments that are due completed prior to vacation so you are still on-track when you return.
  5. In high school, we don’t approve vacation requests for the last week at the end of a block or a semester when we have quarter/semester tests or finals.

Requesting Family Vacation Process

    1. Email your mentor/homeroom teacher requesting vacation days, making sure it is no more than 5 consecutive school days.
    2. Let them know your make-up plan.
    3. Mentor/homeroom teacher checks student’s attendance and progress to make sure they are in good standing and on-track and lets you know by email.
    4. Parent requests vacation days using online absence request form on our website.
    5. Administrator receives the request, checks with the mentor, approves the vacation days if conditions are met and if there is a problem lets you know.
Excessive Absences and Truancy
  • Students can have up to 5 excused or unexcused absences consecutive or not consecutive in each quarter or block which is about 10% of school days.
  • Students are considered excessively absent if no attendance is logged for 5 consecutive days.
  • If a student misses 10 consecutive days of school, the student must be withdrawn from UTVA for attendance policy.
  • If a student is withdrawn, the parent has to enroll their student into another school and let UTVA know the name of the school. If homeschooling -parent needs to sign a homeschooling affidavit at their home school district that they took full responsibility for educating their child and send us a copy to avoid a student being listed as a drop out in school records and having to go through truancy process.

If a student is withdrawn for attendance policy, and to avoid being listed as a drop out in school records and avoid the truancy process, the parent must enroll their student in another school and inform UTVA the name of the school that the student has transferred to. If a parent decides to home-school their student, they need to submit a homeschooling affidavit at their local school district, and inform UTVA  by emailing or texting the homeroom teacher or mentor.

Ideas for Improving Attendance
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative which promotes better policy and practice around school attendance, that promotes tracking chronic absence data for each student, and partners with families and community agencies to intervene when poor attendance is a problem for students or schools.  Click a link below:

Logging Attendance by LC is NOT Needed

Learning Coaches DO NOT need to enter attendance days or attendance hours or mark them in any way.

We can see when students log in, come to classes, time they spend in courses when they log in into their student account.

Just make sure they come to school EVERY DAY by logging into K12.com, ATTEND live classes, complete LESSONS and ASSIGNMENTS by due dates to stay on-track and to reach the school goals that you both set for this year.

You do not need any K12 app or K12 attendance app.

Learning Coach Log In

We ask that the Learning Coach logs in regularly as well and as often as needed throughout the day and week.  Your student really needs your support.

You can easily log in from your phone or any device. Do not use any K12 app. We do not see log ins from the apps. Open an internet browser, type in k12.com, click OLS and log in, have the browser remember your username and password. FYI: Student and parent can be logged in at the same time on the same device. Example: 1 tab –student, 2nd tab –parent, or 1st window student, 2nd window parent, or Chrome –student, Firefox –parent.

Recommended learning coach log in: As often as needed during each day for elementary students. Once a day and at least WEEKLY for middle and high school students.

When you log in, please check your student’s progress, grades, look for overdue assignments, lessons with 0 score, time spent in courses, and support and encourage your student as needed. If you see 0 score, most likely they haven’t done the assignments or just flipped through it, so it goes away from overdue list. They can rework it and resubmit it for a better grade if their teacher is still accepting it or has set up extra attempts. 

 Do not wait for a call or email from school that they are behind. Please check often and see how they are doing. Contact your teacher if needed. For older students, encourage your student to communicate with their teachers and ask for help.

Information only found in Learning Coach account: your student school ID, your and your student contact info that you can update, Materials and Orders from k12 and what to keep or return at the end of the year, computer shipment and tracking, all your students in one place, re-registration for next year.

Missing Live Class

DO NOT excuse the whole day of school if your student can log into school that day.

DO NOT fill out an absence request form.

Coming to live class is required, but occasionally you must miss class because of a doctor appointment.

  1. Just email your teacher and let them know.
  2. Log into school before or after the appointment.
  3. Watch the missed class in recording.
  4. Complete necessary assignment that you might have missed in class.
  5. Do your other schoolwork and attend your other live classes.
Barriers to Attendance

We realize some students have unique and atypical situations that impact attendance outcomes and will work with those students on an individualized basis. We will work with you and work out a plan trying to address your student’s needs, provide you with support and resources if necessary, helping him or her get back to school as soon as possible.

Please communicate with us as soon as possible if there are any barriers that are preventing your student from attending school.

If your student has an extended illness, we need to know so we can work out a plan with you.

If your housing situation has changed and/or internet got turned off due to economic hardship, please let your mentor know right away, so we can help you with what we can.

Incentives

Attendance Awareness Month

  • Poster, meme, video contest “Attendance matters”.
  • Kudos, virtual badges, high fives, and recognitions sent to your email box for good weekly attendance.
  • Weekly drawings and prizes.
  • @10dance (spells AT-TEN-DANCE).
  • Celebration online party possibly with a famous guest.

Star Attendance Club

  • When you have 95-100% attendance for the month, you will be automatically entered into our Star Attendance Club.
  • At the end of each month each Star Attendance Club member will be entered into a drawing for prizes.
  • If you don’t make the club in one month, you can start over the next month. It is never too late to improve.
Structure and Routines

Students need structure and routine and enjoy having the security of a planned sequence of events.

Establishing routines during the 1st days and weeks of school and setting up a habit of daily school attendance is very important and helps make this year more successful.

It might take time to find what works for your family, but a well thought plan and consistent routine are keys to success.

Be patient with yourself as you learn how everything works. Transitioning to online learning can be a challenge at first, but it gets better as you get things figured out and goes more smoothly and more enjoyable.

Reach out for help to your mentor or to any staff. We are here to help and support you. We want you to succeed; nobody wants you to fail.

Distraction-Free Space

Set up a distractions-free learning space at home.

Dealing with distractions is one of the biggest culprits of learning at home.

The average recovery time from each distraction is 23 minutes.

Constant distractions and interruptions may lead to higher level of stress, frustration, bad mood, lower productivity.

Kids need a distraction free space and some focus time.

Students, if you have a smart phone, let it be your friend, not your enemy. Put it away, turn off notification, put it on mute, etc.

Some parents set up boundaries with their students.

Some parent use internet monitoring programs.

Staying On Track
  • Establish a morning routine by waking up on time.
  • Make school a priority, which means do school first then play.
  • Set alarms on your phone for each class.
  • Go to bed at a regular time. Don’t play video games all night or before bed, then end up sleeping in and missing school.
  • Know UTVA school calendar and your class schedule.
  • Print and put them where you can see them.
  • Plan your day and make a checklist, then check things off as you go. Show your checklist to your parent at the end of the day.
  • Put due dates on desktop “sticky notes”, phone or in school Outlook calendar that will send you reminders.
  • (FYI: Office 365 is free for all students. Download it after you sign in into school as student, once you open school email)
  • Parents: Wake up your kids early enough, so they are ready to start when 1st class starts.
  • Check on them throughout the day, especially if you are at work, and check inside your learning coach account what has been done.
  • Talk about school positively and often, discuss topics and issues that your student is learning.
  • Focus on positive more than negative. For every 1 negative, say 5 positive things to your child. Praise should be genuine and specific.
  • Log in often as a learning coach and see what they are working on and notice what is done or has improved.
  • Focus on improvement and progress, not perfection.
Good Standing Attendance Tips
  • Log in as a student and come to your classes every school day.
  • Keep your attendance at 90% or higher at all time; don’t miss more than 5 days per quarter, which is 10% of total school days.
  • If you are sick, get a doctors note and have your parent fill out an absence request form. Communicate with us, contact your teachers so you can make up your missed work.
  • If you are travelling, are away from home, or visiting family out-of-state, bring your computer with you and keep doing your school.
  • You can do school on any computer and on any device with internet access, even on your phone occasionally, though it might be hard to see on a small screen.
  • Reach out for help, with issues, or questions to your mentor, your teachers, counselor, student services.
Chronic Absence Facts
  • Chronic Absence is missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason – this includes excused and unexcused absences.
  • 18 + days per year
  • 5 + days per quarter
  • Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the year.
  • Half the students who miss 2 to 4 days in the beginning of school go on to miss nearly a month of school that year.
  • Chronic absences (missing 10% or more of school) may lead to students not reading proficiently by third grade, course failure in middle school and dropout in high school.