Real-Time Attendance: The Key to Accountability

ClasStars was built for educators to help kids succeed in the classroom. We’re built on four core values: Positive Engagement, Identifying Invisible Progress, Academic Engagement, and Real-Time Attendance. In this Q&A series, we dive into each of these four facets and how each one specifically can help you – and your students.

What is real-time attendance?

Real-time attendance refers to the two key aspects of classroom attendance:

1. Did the student come to school?

2. Did the student leave the classroom in the middle of class, and for how long?

Only when you track both of these elements can you truly capture how long a student is spending outside of the classroom – and inversely, physically in the classroom – during school hours.

Why is tracking real-time attendance important?

You don’t need research to prove the idea that if a kid doesn’t show up to class, they’re not learning anything in the classroom. (If you don’t go to the market, you can’t buy any milk.) On the other hand, research also shows that chronic absence – that is, when a student misses 10% of their class time – makes it very likely for them to struggle and fail academically.

Taking attendance at the beginning of class is pretty standard practice. The problem is that there are plenty of kids who know how to game the system: they show up at the beginning of the day to be marked present, then go to the bathroom or the nurse’s office, get called out for services, or otherwise figure something out. We should not underestimate kids’ creativity when it comes to getting out of class.

Unfortunately, these kids are spending more time outside of the class than necessary – even to a detrimental level. As a teacher, if you’re not truly keeping track of the amount of time that they’re missing, it’s difficult to remediate and intervene to ensure that every student spends enough time in the classroom to succeed academically. That’s why real-time attendance is key to accountability in the classroom.

What if they have a good reason for missing so much class?

This is absolutely possible; we don’t know what’s happening in every student’s personal lives. But the fact of the matter is that they’re still missing their designated time to learn – the primary purpose of a class.

If there is a good reason, you’ll never find out without tracking real-time attendance in the first place. Backed by data, you can approach the student and ask if something’s wrong, and how you can help.

How does ClasStars track real-time attendance?

ClasStars has full coverage of real-time attendance tracking capabilities. Attendance at the beginning of class is easy; it takes a simple swipe and tap to mark students absent, late, or excused (with the option to add reasons if necessary). In addition, ClasStars allows for easy real-time attendance; with a simple swipe, you can record that a student left the classroom, and then double tap to mark that they’ve returned.

This data may seem insignificant as a standalone, but imagine if you start accumulating this data. Suddenly, you’re seeing that Sierra is spending a total of 2 hours outside of the classroom each day; Julie has been late 8 times in the last 3 weeks; and Ben spends 14 minutes every time he goes to the bathroom.

These don’t necessarily mean that these kids are avoiding the classroom, but it empowers teachers with the data they need to approach the student or the right support systems for clarification and remediation. It also serves as proof if a student pushes back on your claims and asks, or if parents and/or other educators are brought into the issue.

Case Study: One-Swipe Accountability

A teacher once told us that on her very first day of using ClasStars, a student in her class went to the bathroom for 9 minutes. When he returned, she called him out on it, to which he pushed back and said he only took 2 minutes. With ClasStars, she was able to show him on her screen that she was correct, and consequently, the culture in her classroom completely changed. There was real accountability. There was no need for “he said, she said,” nor arguments. It was very simple to show the students that she was tracking time out of class for everyone, and it changed everything.

Real-time attendance is important for student success, but it can get tricky when you’re outnumbered 30 to 1. ClasStars simplifies the process and empowers teachers to help every student to the best of their abilities.

Learn more about how ClasStars helps with real-time attendance.

ClasStars was built for educators to help kids succeed in the classroom. We’re built on four core values: Positive Engagement, Identifying Invisible Progress, Academic Engagement, and Real-Time Attendance. In this Q&A series, we dive into each of these four facets and how each one specifically can help you – and your students. 

What is real-time attendance?

Real-time attendance refers to the two key aspects of classroom attendance:

1. Did the student come to school?

2. Did the student leave the classroom in the middle of class, and for how long?

Only when you track both of these elements can you truly capture how long a student is spending outside of the classroom – and inversely, physically in the classroom – during school hours.

Why is tracking real-time attendance important?

You don’t need research to prove the idea that if a kid doesn’t show up to class, they’re not learning anything in the classroom. (If you don’t go to the market, you can’t buy any milk.) On the other hand, research also shows that chronic absence – that is, when a student misses 10% of their class time – makes it very likely for them to struggle and fail academically. 

Taking attendance at the beginning of class is pretty standard practice. The problem is that there are plenty of kids who know how to game the system: they show up at the beginning of the day to be marked present, then go to the bathroom or the nurse’s office, get called out for services, or otherwise figure something out. We should not underestimate kids’ creativity when it comes to getting out of class. 

Unfortunately, these kids are spending more time outside of the class than necessary – even to a detrimental level. As a teacher, if you’re not truly keeping track of the amount of time that they’re missing, it’s difficult to remediate and intervene to ensure that every student spends enough time in the classroom to succeed academically. That’s why real-time attendance is key to accountability in the classroom.

What if they have a good reason for missing so much class?

This is absolutely possible; we don’t know what’s happening in every student’s personal lives. But the fact of the matter is that they’re still missing their designated time to learn – the primary purpose of a class.

If there is a good reason, you’ll never find out without tracking real-time attendance in the first place. Backed by data, you can approach the student and ask if something’s wrong, and how you can help.

How does ClasStars track real-time attendance?

ClasStars has full coverage of real-time attendance tracking capabilities. Attendance at the beginning of class is easy; it takes a simple swipe and tap to mark students absent, late, or excused (with the option to add reasons if necessary). In addition, ClasStars allows for easy real-time attendance; with a simple swipe, you can record that a student left the classroom, and then double tap to mark that they’ve returned. 

This data may seem insignificant as a standalone, but imagine if you start accumulating this data. Suddenly, you’re seeing that Sierra is spending a total of 2 hours outside of the classroom each day; Julie has been late 8 times in the last 3 weeks; and Ben spends 14 minutes every time he goes to the bathroom.

These don’t necessarily mean that these kids are avoiding the classroom, but it empowers teachers with the data they need to approach the student or the right support systems for clarification and remediation. It also serves as proof if a student pushes back on your claims and asks, or if parents and/or other educators are brought into the issue.

Case Study: One-Swipe Accountability

A teacher once told us that on her very first day of using ClasStars, a student in her class went to the bathroom for 9 minutes. When he returned, she called him out on it, to which he pushed back and said he only took 2 minutes. With ClasStars, she was able to show him on her screen that she was correct, and consequently, the culture in her classroom completely changed. There was real accountability. There was no need for “he said, she said,” nor arguments. It was very simple to show the students that she was tracking time out of class for everyone, and it changed everything.

Real-time attendance is important for student success, but it can get tricky when you’re outnumbered 30 to 1. ClasStars simplifies the process and empowers teachers to help every student to the best of their abilities.

Learn more about how ClasStars helps with real-time attendance.