Select Page

Maine schools share their thoughts on how they are dealing with attendance during the COVIC-19 Pandemic

Alfred and Lyman Elementary Schools, Alfred & Lyman

Remote Learners

Attendance expectations for remote learners are the same as for in person learners. Think, “If this student was physically present in the classroom, how would this be marked for attendance?”


Present Criteria: Students are able to participate synchronously in Zoom direct instruction opportunities, specials, etc.


Dismissal/Tardy: Parent/teacher must inform the main office so that attendance can be recorded accordingly.


AE- A person’s absence is excused when the absence is for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness
  2. An appointment with a health professional must be made during the regular school day;
  3. Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;
  4. A family emergency; or
  5. A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose, which has been approved.


AU-A person’s absence is unexcused when:

  1. The student does not join the classroom zoom and a parent doesn’t contact the school stating one of the reasons above

SS-(Special Situations)

  1. This is used when the reason in which the student cannot log on is not within their control, e.g., no power, no internet, iPad not yet provided by school, etc.

Point of clarity: We have 3 options for learners: In person 5 days per week, remote learning 5 days per week, or homeschooling. We are a synchronous model of education; asynchronous opportunities are not an option.


MSAD 61, Bridgton

Lake Region #61 uses the new Virtual Attendance Module in IC, and we have trained students, teachers and parents.


Miles Lane School, Bucksport

In our district, our hybrid model is 2 days in person and 2.5 days synchronous remote (for middle and high school).  Remote students are required to log on live with the rest of their in-person class.  If they don’t, they are marked absent (unexcused).  The secretaries will call parents if students don’t sign on.  We use Seesaw for elementary and Brightspace for middle school and high school. Our elementary population and our lower middle school population  have  asynchronous learners.   Our platforms, Brightspace and Seesaw, allow for teachers to track whether our asynchronous learners are logging on to watch videos and submitting work. If they do not do this, they are marked absent.



Calais MS/HS, Calais

At Calais MS/HS the virtual student must log in during homeroom on their assigned group day.  If they do not they are marked absent and the Secretary checks on them.  As of right now we do an every other day hybrid schedule.  If we end up needing to close we will do the same thing, in which they must sign into the homeroom on their assigned days.



Clinton Elementary School, Clinton

Our tech director has put together a video which she has posted on our website for families to view when they need to check their kiddos in on the days they are at home. This is done through IC, which the families should already be familiar with. Our classroom teachers have also shared this with the families through their google classroom work and Remind messages. We DO have a LOT of truancy letters going home for the first quarter, but we are hoping with this communication we have fixed the issues the families were having.


Greeley High School, Cumberland

At Greely High School, we created a new code for recording an absence for a student who is on a remote day.  Normally, a student who is scheduled to be physically at school is marked “A” if s/he is not present.  We follow up to determine if that absence should be excused or not and then change accordingly.  When a student is remote, but does not virtually attend class or check in, we mark the student as “X.”  So, again, we use a different code to report a student who is scheduled to be physically present vs. a student who is scheduled to be remotely present.


Ridge View Community School, Dexter

At Ridge View we have a remote attendance spreadsheet that teachers fill out at the end of every day. This is how we track attendance on days where students are expected to participate remotely.


Dirigo Elementary School, Dixfield

In RSU 56 we set up a remote learning category in Power School so that we could distinguish between attendance issue that are happening when students are attending in person and when they are attending remote.  (RAU – Remote Absence Unexcused, RAE – Remote Absence Excused).  For our fully remote students in grades 3-5 we have an attendance rubric we use.  The rubric basically accounts for work completed in seesaw and also attendance on Zoom sessions.  In K-2 we have a similar process, but where we balance work and zoom sessions.  Our biggest attendance issues are with our in-person students when they have to be remote.


Dirigo High School, Dixfield

We are having students log into live classes and taking attendance as usual.

Etna-Dixmont School, Etna

We assume that all are present on Wednesday which is our none student day except for our full remote students.  They are required to have a hangout with their teacher and if they are not at their weekly appointment they are marked absent.  During the week, remote students are required to join morning meetings for attendance.  Their assigned work is then covered under grades.


Falmouth Elementary School, Falmouth

Virtual Days


  • Teachers should take attendance at every virtual morning meeting
  • If a student is not present you must mark them absent.
  • If you know the reason the student is absent, please note that in the comment section or type “unknown” if you do not know*


*The office will determine whether or not this is an excused or unexcused absence.  Teachers should not make that determination.


  • IF a student joins the morning meeting late, please notify Lisa Quiet and she can change the absence to a tardy.


  • IF a student does not join the meeting, but later completes all required asynchronous work, please notify Lisa Quiet and she will change the absence to tardy.


In-Person Days


  • A.M. attendance should be taken between 8:50 and 9:00
  • If you know the reason the student is absent, please note that in the comment section or type “unknown” if you do not know


  • P.M. attendance should be taken between 12:50 and 1:00
  • If you know the reason the student is absent, please note that in the comment section or type “unknown” if you do not know


Lawrence High School, Fairfield

Lawrence has a student check-in feature on Infinite Campus that the student will check and it puts them into a “participating” column. Teachers can then unclick the teacher’s column that indicates the student did not participate (or stay in the class after checking in). On paper it sounds good, but we’ve had some teachers uncheck those quiet students who prefer not to actively participate, but they do the work. Also, we’re having trouble with attendance from some of our remote learners – it’s like last spring when some just checked out. We haven’t successfully tackled this issue yet.



Mt. Blue Middle School, Farmington

Click HERE for a copy of their Draft Attendance 6-12 procedures.


Fort Fairfield Middle/High School, Fort Fairfield

We are not doing live classes, so we have created a Remote Google Attendance form which they need to submit before 9:30am on remote days. The spreadsheet from that form is then reviewed by their first period teachers and they modify the attendance by the end of the day. If the student completes the form by 9:30 they are considered present, if they are after 9:30 but that day, they are unexcused tardy, if they do not complete the form it is an unexcused absence unless a parent calls in with an excuse.


Fort Kent Elementary School, Fort Kent

Our remote teachers keep track of their student’s attendance in power school.


Earl C. McGraw School, Hampden

In RSU 22 we are tracking attendance/engagement in the following ways on the days they are not in-person at school.

Every day is considered a school day. Students have three ways to show they have attended school for the day. They are:


Participation/Engagement (posting on Seesaw);

Check-Ins (joining the morning meeting or emailing the teacher); and

Work Completion (submission of expected work, electronically or in-person at school the next day they attend).


There is flexibility as to when the work gets completed, but there must be communication about it so the teacher knows the student is working/has worked on it. Students who do not engage on Wednesdays, on their at-home days (if they are hybrid), or any school day (if they are 100% remote) will be marked absent. Please let us know if you have any concerns or questions about what is considered attendance for the remote days.



Somerset Elementary School, Hartland

We added codes for virtually present, virtually absent, and virtually excused to infinite campus.


Sacopee Valley High School, Hiram

Sacopee Valley HS is recording and certifying attendance, which I believe MDOE has stated is their expectation. I would have to go back through my MDOE guidance bulletins from the summer but that’s my understanding. Our UA numbers are astronomical and it has forced us to adjust our attendance system. We have temporarily suspended our 12 day per year limit on absences per class, and are instead sending out truancy response notices when students get to 7 consecutive or 10 cumulative days of UA. In past years we have operated two concurrent systems (loss of credit warnings and truancy response) but due to COVID-19 we are currently only using truancy response. We have also increased the frequency of attendance team meetings and started a spreadsheet to track truancy steps for students who have reached that threshold.


Jefferson Village School, Jefferson

JVS is tracking attendance on remote learning days by work completion and/or attendance in scheduled Google Meets/Zoom meetings.


Kennebunk Elementary, Kennebunk

We have three MEETs during the school day for our children at home.  If they don’t log into any, they are absent.  If they log on in the morning and miss either of their later two, they are dismissed, and if they miss the first one and then log on later, they are tardy.


Mt. Jefferson Middle School, Lee

We have a system set up that if a learner doesn’t log on, then they are noted as absent.  The school secretaries then will do a follow-up call to parents/caregivers as they typically would do in face-to-face learning, and if the issue is due to technology related, they have an excused absence.  If no contact is made (meaning nobody answers the phone) then it is recorded as an absence and a note is sent home as a reminder of the importance of logging on, and that we are keeping track of missed days as absences.

Lewiston High School, Lewiston

We are collecting attendance through Google Classroom using one of two methods.  We either use Google Forms to have students check in or we use an “attendance question” which appears on the streaming page.  Both options provide us a time stamp and there is the ability to generate individual classroom attendance reports.


Lake Region Middle School, Naples

There is an option in Infinite Campus where students that are 100% remote or on their home days in the hybrid format can mark themselves as “participating” for the day.  Teachers are the second level of checks and balances on this to make sure that students get credit for “participating” if the student is completing work but forgot to check the box in IC.

At the end of the week, all boxes that were not checked as “participating” default to “absent” in IC.


Nute Middle High School, New Hampshire

Teachers take attendance in our student information system and mark students who do not log in as absent.


Messalonskee High School, Oakland

Because we are doing synchronous teaching we use our SIS PowerSchool for attendance


Loranger Memorial School, Old Orchard Beach

All classroom teachers/grade level teams have a morning meeting that starts our one remote learning day for the week. During that time teachers track attendance in our SIS as they would for any other day. The student support team and attendance team look over that data to support students who are not frequently attending on Wednesdays.



Leonard Middle School, Orono

We track through Infinite Campus. We tried keeping it by day, and then keeping it by class. That was a nightmare, with many inaccuracies. We went back to daily attendance.

Now we focus more on work completion and learning—with attendance information informing that primary focus.


Pembroke Elementary School, Pembroke

I only have a handful of remote students and we are tracking attendance an a couple of different ways. One is through program use such as logging into an online math program each day, or daily morning meeting through google meets for upper elementary ( gr 5-8). Lower elementary parents have been asked to contact the school daily to support students being in attendance. However, we have recently added a daily teacher -student (or caregiver) zoom meeting. Meetings occur at the beginning of the school day.


Manson Park School, Pittsfield

For us, students have to check in every single day through Google Classroom. This counts as their attendance for the day. If they do not check in, they are marked absent. Teachers then follow up with students on Wednesdays and if attendance is a concern, our office staff reach out.


Bruce M. Whittier Middle School, Poland

On students’ remote learning days, they need to attend an advisory meeting in the morning (7:35-8:05) or complete a daily Google Form to log their attendance (prior to 9:30am).  With these expectations in place, attendance is around 92%, and we have a large number of chronically absent students.


Baxter Academy, Portland

We have a daily attendance associated with daily announcements this is through a google form that just says, “I’m here”. This is sort of in place of a homeroom.

Also for each day our classes meet synchronously and attendance is taken at the start of each class.


Sanford High School, Sanford

Sanford is taking attendance every period for both students in the class and those that are remote.  We (teachers, guidance, admin) are following up on students with attendance concerns, and if things get bad enough our attendance coordinator gets involved.  We’ve been pretty happy with our average daily attendance being in the 90-93% range.  Additionally, students who may be absent during a day they are supposed to be in person may log into class remotely and not be marked as absent.


Scarborough High School, Scarborough

At Scarborough High School, we are running a shortened day on Wednesdays (which is our remote day) and we have four – 40 minute classes, so students are attending!


Wentworth School, Scarborough

Our teachers take attendance at a daily morning meeting via Google Meet for our remote learners, while simultaneously having students in person. At the K-5 level it is the only time of the day that teachers are managing both groups.  We have a variety of attendance codes under the state law, and have included RP (Remote Present) and RA (Remote Absent).  RP is for students who are expected to be showing up remotely, and if they do not, they are marked RA. We periodically review attendance at the admin level and will connect with teachers if there are patterns that require a follow up with the family.



Dyer Elementary School, South Portland

For K-5 we have an attendance Google Form–a button on K-2 iPads and a bookmark on 3-5 Chromebooks.

Clerks review the results of the spreadsheet that is generated and enters into IC. We follow up with families via teachers or main office.


Bonny Eagle Middle School, Standish

We are in hybrid

2 days week – students are In Person (track attendance)

Every Friday all students Remote Learning (track attendance)

2 days week – students are doing Independent Learning ( they are assumed present automatically)

If student does not log in as expected on Fri – they are marked absent


St. George School, Tenants Harbor





All asynchronous assignments completed Some asynchronous assignments completed No asynchronous assignments completed


Attended all Zoom meetings


Partial attendance at zoom meetings

(e.g., 1 out of 2 Zoom meetings)



Attended no Zoom meetings





At the middle level, since there are multiple teachers for each student, remote attendance will be based on 3-points of contact during a remote dayEach student will have two synchronous opportunities daily and the third point of contact will be an asynchronous or synchronous assignment or check-in as determined by the team.


3 points of contact = Full day attendance

1-2 points of contact = Half day attendance

0 points of contact = Absent




  • Submission of SeeSaw or Google Classroom assignment
  • Google or SeeSaw “check-ins”
  • Creation or revision of written work shared in a google doc
  • Participation in an online discussion
  • Participation in an online learning application or program (IXL, Lexia, Khan Academy, Brainpop, NEWSELA, etc.)
  • Other assignments provided by teacher


Leavitt Area High School, Turner

On Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, we are tracking attendance of students who aren’t in the building by having classroom teachers post an attendance question of the day in their Google Classrooms for period 1.  Students who don’t answer the question by 9:00am are marked as absent for the day.  On Wednesday’s when the entire building is remote, we’re taking attendance during our advisor meetings. These meetings are scheduled for 10:00am and all students are expected to attend.


Tripp Middle School, Turner

At Tripp MS we send a Google doc survey to remote students. Cohort B gets the survey on Mon. & Tues. and Cohort A gets the survey on Thurs., Friday. The school secretary records the students who did not complete the survey as absent.

When everyone is remote on Wednesday each advisor holds an advisor meeting and all students need to participate. The teacher takes attendance and sends it to the school secretary who then records it in PowerSchool.



Canal School, Westbrook

We are requiring that students complete the assigned tasks (regular ed, special ed, ELL, and/or Title 1 in reading, writing, and math) and attend any required virtual meetings in order to be considered present for the day on a remote day.  If they are not “present” as defined above, they are marked absent in IC.  We have the coding UA (unexcused absence for in person days) and UAR (unexcused absence for remote days) in IC for this tracking.


York High School, York

We have created Attendance Google Classrooms for each cohort.  On their “at-home” days, we send out Google Form to be completed by 9:00.  We robocall those who have not submitted.  Students have two options to select (click HERE to view) and you can dig into the dropdown to see student names.  Since PowerSchool’s default is present, we only need to enter in students who are absent.  It has worked so far for us!


Share This