HISD struggling to keep track of attendance during virtual learning

Thursday, September 10, 2020
HISD struggling to keep track of attendance
After two days of online learning, HISD has yet to release the attendance record for students who are attending online classes.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As thousands of kids were struggling through online glitches to access Houston ISD's virtual learning platforms on Tuesday and Wednesday, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan told 13 Investigates that she was hoping for full attendance.

"Of course, I would be hoping for 209,000 today, but we'll see," Lathan said.

Despite promising to release the attendance figures, we're still waiting.

"When we have that information," the district said after two days of questioning from 13 Investigates.

"I hope I have that information today," Lathan said yesterday. "I will make a commitment that when we receive it, I will share it."

It matters this year more than ever. Without signing in for attendance, HISD doesn't get state-aid, which is paid per student, and without credit for signing on, students won't get credit for class hours.

The district didn't even tell us the reasons behind the delay.

HISD did have time to tell us about a partnership with the Houston Texans that will reward students with perfect attendance.

"It's imperative that all students are logging in daily and engaging virtually with their teachers," Lathan said.

How many of the 49,514 missing students from last year showed up? 13 Investigates asked.

"We don't know."

Did HISD's summer-long effort to contact thousands of kids over the summer change any behavior? 13 Investigates asked.

"We don't know."

"I promise you. I want the numbers more than you want the numbers. You just don't even know," Lathan told 13 Investigates Ted Oberg.

We started asking yesterday at 10:00 a.m., and again, several times on Wednesday. So far, nothing.

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