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DPS trying to get a handle on disconnected students amid online learning

As the district tries to track students and their effort through online learning, 9Wants to Know has learned there’s a large number of kids who have never logged on.

DENVER, Colorado — While most students within Denver Public Schools (DPS) are engaging in the new form of online learning, there are many children who haven’t connected to the virtual class setting and who remain missing from the system, 9Wants to Know has learned.

“Can we put an exact number on those students on a central level? Not quite yet,” said DPS spokesperson Winna MacLaren.

MacLaren wouldn’t give an estimate either and said the district is still working on ways to come up with more accurate data to try and track those missing students as the district adapts to online learning.

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“It really comes down to the fact this is brand new for everybody, so we are really exercising patience with our schools and with their teachers as they try to do their best with tracking attendance,” MacLaren said.

An analysis of district data by 9Wants to Know indicates somewhere between 12% and 25% of DPS students may not be engaging with their online learning. The data provided by DPS is incomplete because it didn’t contain data from charter schools within the district.

The current DPS population is about 90,000 kids.

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At some schools, staff are trying to reach out to children and their families when they see kids haven’t engaged.

“We all call. I call as principal. Our secretaries call. No one is immune to calling. We’ve made 1200 phone calls home since April 6 and we’ll continue to do so,” said Neisa Lynch, principal at Collegiate Prep Academy.

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