CSDE Announces New Data Collections to Better Evaluate and Support Student Participation and Engagement During the 2020-21 Academic Year
(Hartford) – Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is rolling out two new data collections to promote transparency and make data-driven decisions that support stronger student engagement and participation during the 2020-21 school year. The weekly collection of Learning Models and Enrollment as well as the monthly collection of Student Membership and Attendance will allow CSDE and districts to evaluate and monitor attendance and participation trends that are essential to student achievement. Whether students are learning in-person or in a hybrid or remote model, the information will be used to establish systems that reach and engage all students in a way that keeps them connected with their teachers and their schools.
“Information is power, which is something we have learned clearly throughout this year. The more information the state has when it comes to attendance and participation, the better equipped the state will be to support our districts. This is the latest example of our agencies leading with the goal of improving outcomes,” Governor Ned Lamont said
“Presence is a pre-requisite for engagement, and engagement is a pre-requisite for high-impact learning. During this most important school year of our lifetimes, we want to make sure all of our students are accounted for and engaged with equitable access to meaningful educational opportunities - regardless of learning model,” Commissioner Cardona said. “These collections will allow us to better identify patterns early on around issues with participation and attendance so we can be proactive about addressing the root causes in a collaborative way with educators, school staff and families. As such, the department stands ready to continue providing our district partners with trainings, supports and resources to carry out this crucial work so we can reach all students with an added focus on our most vulnerable.”
Results from the initial collection of Learning Model and Enrollment Data during the week of September 8-11 found that hybrid learning models were offered in a majority of public school districts and grades. In the high school grades, around 14 percent of district grades offered a fully in-person learning model while nearly 78 percent offered instruction in a hybrid format. Fully remote learning was offered in around six to eight percent of public school district grades during the week of September 8 through September 11. In the 284 districts and Approved Private Special Education Providers (APSEP) who reported enrolled students during the week of September 8-11, approximately 32 percent of all students (around 162,000 of the nearly 510,000 students) were fully remote. The reason being that either the district was operating in a remote learning model or the parent had opted their child into full time remote learning for that week. The CSDE will continue to update the results weekly from this collection for the next few weeks and provide summary reports and district-level data.
In early October, the CSDE will also begin collecting student-level attendance data for the month of September. An add-on to the Public School Information System (PSIS) Register Module, the monthly collection of Student Membership and Attendance will allow for more detailed reporting of student attendance by district, school, and student-group. Districts received instructions to track membership and attendance separately for a student’s in-person vs remote days, and were provided the accompanying Tracking Daily Attendance on Remote Days in 2020-21 which CSDE developed in consultation with national organizations, several states, and numerous Connecticut districts. Reporting instructions apply to students who have opted-in to full-time remote learning, are learning remotely during the week as part of a hybrid model, or are learning remotely because the entire school is operating remotely due to health concerns.
While these new reporting requirements will place some additional demands on districts, CSDE believes in the ability of data and information to foster greater student engagement and learning, and effectively advocate for resources and supports so schools can operate safely, and that students have the requisite device and Internet connectivity to benefit from remote learning. CSDE is committed to working with its district partners to advance critical efforts to close gaps and address longstanding disparities within Connecticut’s educational system.
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