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California Schools Have Lost Contact With Thousands of Students More Than a Month Into Closures



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SACRAMENTO — More than a month after California schools closed due to the coronavirus, thousands of students are still unaccounted for as teachers struggle to connect with them in the era of distance learning.

The California Department of Education is not tracking student attendance statewide, but districts have adopted their own array of policies to monitor student engagement: Some take weekly headcounts via live Zoom meetings, track student log-ins to online programs or ask parents to check in.

At Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest district, about 3,000 out of 180,000 high school students are still “unconnected.” That’s down from 15,000 during the initial stages of online learning. About 10 percent of students at San Diego Unified, the state’s second-largest district, have not connected to distance learning programs, meaning about 12,000 students have not logged onto any lessons as of last week.

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