COVID-19 pandemic makes traditional ‘count day’ for schools more complex than usual

Some districts are working completely remote

NOVI, Mich. – This year, empty seats in the classroom definitely don’t mean students are missing in action. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is making the traditional “count day” a much more complicated effort.

READ: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools

Some districts have gone completely remote, and others have a hybrid plan in place.

Schools have an opportunity to find and count students over the next 10 days to four weeks, depending on the learning model. It’s critical that students be presented and accounted for no matter what their learning model is. Every district has technical help for families that are still struggling to get connected.

School districts have employed a variety of ways to get their students back into learning. The Novi school district is doing hybrid learning. That means 45 percent of students are participating in rotating sessions. Twice a week they are physically in classrooms. Three times a week, they are virtual.

Another 55 percent of the 6,700 total students are 100 percent virtual. The task is doing the math to find out how many students are getting regular measurable and consistent learning no matter model.

Dr. Steve Matthews, the superintendent of the Novi Community School District believes his district has lost some students. Even a loss of 50 students in the district means it will lose close to $442,000 in state funding.

The Southfield school district is 100 percent virtual for its student population that used to be 5,800. With senior attrition and some unaccounted students -- the number could be closer to 5,575 over its 4 week count period.

However the count is done, in this new way of teaching and learning it’s important that teachers find a new way of counting. Those final numbers will also give us a snapshot into what parents are dealing with and how education will look going forward.

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