PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Almost a year into comprehensive distance learning, some parents are struggling to get their kids to engage in online classes.
Cherisa Johnson, whose oldest child is a student at Alice Ott Middle School in the David Douglas School District, has found early class meetings to be especially challenging, and has found her son regularly misses them.
"He says, 'mom, I'm trying, I don't know why I'm just so tired.' Or he will say, 'we really don't do anything in homeroom, so why should I get going when we really don't do anything in homeroom?'" said Johnson.
Johnson isn't alone in her struggles.
Across the district, attendance is only just below 88 percent, with 12 percent of students missing about one day per week.
Attendance at Alice Ott is 88.2 percent.
"Our attendance team meets weekly, and we are calling our students. We're calling parents, we're calling students. We are even doing home visits," said LaShawnta Spears, who is Assistant Principal at Alice Ott.
Spears said attendance team members try to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent students from engaging, which can be as simple as providing them with an alarm clock or a better functioning Chromebook.
"And then there's other parents who are like, 'you know, I'm dealing with a lot right now. Right? I'm trying to work or I'm looking for employment. I don't have what I need to make this a priority,'" said Spears. "I don't think it's because parents don't want to do it. I think it's because they're juggling a lot right now."
For comparison, attendance in the Beaverton School District is about 95 percent.
Hillsboro schools are averaging 91 percent attendance, but attendance is only 85 percent among high school students.