Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Roll call: Minnesota schools face challenges of counting students from afar


October 12, 2020

ALEX KORMANN • Star Tribune

Lisa Larson read a book to her students on the first day of in-person class at Piedmont Elementary School in Duluth in September. Teachers are adjusting roll-call methods.

Taking attendance was once as easy as glancing across a classroom and noting which desks were empty. But that was in a pre-pandemic school year.

Now, for many metro-area students, showing up to class means logging into a school-provided iPad. In Anoka-Hennepin schools, teachers host a daily video call to take roll of students in remote learning. Rather than counting desks, they count the faces on the screen.

"We were really faced with disrupting what were longstanding attendance practices and having to reinvent them on the fly," Joel VerDuin, chief technology and information officer for Anoka-Hennepin schools, said of the attendance-tallying strategy launched this year.


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