Removing the daily logs proves to be a good decisio

Taryn Robinson, Opinions Editor

Manhattan High School was introduced to a new system of tracking attendance and engagement due to the world facing an unexpected outbreak from COVID-19. After a few weeks of attempting to use daily learning logs to track engagement, the Kansas Department of Education has allowed MHS to drop the requirement for students to keep the logs.

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that it was the right decision by the state to remove them.

Daily learning logs were made this year to record every students’ time on Remote Learning Days. This is because USD 383 is audited to verify that students have engaged in 1,116 hours in a school year, in order to receive funding from the state. This time requirement means that on remote days, students are supposed to log 390 minutes, or 6.5 hours, of work. However, some teachers realized that students were struggling to find enough work to do in order to complete the required 390 minutes, and specifying how the time was used on a complicated form was a struggle for some students and their parents who had to validate the forms. Although students were encouraged to count a variety of learning activities, including mental breaks and transitional times, towards the log, and even the time spent writing in the log, that didn’t change how complicated the whole process was.

This was a huge problem for most families. Although the intent was not to have parents complete the logs, the reality was exactly that for some families. Parents were having a tough time tracking down the times for their students’ course work on top of working a full-time job and providing for their family. They desperately wanted that to change for parents because of the tremendous amount of pressure that was put on them.

This was obviously more of a problem than a solution to this year, and some schools realized it. There is now a new waiver that now requires a parent/guardian signature in place of the logs. The waiver is a step in the right direction, and families should sign the logs as soon as they are available to meet the audit requirements.