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Accurate and reliable attendance data is important for all schools, so here’s a few tips we’ve learned from Skyward and their users to simplify the attendance taking and tracking process, and ultimately improve the attendance data within Skyward SMS 2.0 Student software.

Have a Uniform System for Attendance

Create a uniform system for taking attendance, including a clear tardy/absence policy. Then make sure everyone knows the system, so it doesn’t matter who’s in charge of taking attendance for a period or class, the staff and students will know the routine. This makes it easier for temporary staff to pick up and substitute. Having a uniform system also makes enforcement clearer.

Streamline the Tardy Tracking Process

Make sure the most common tardies are getting into Skyward software as efficiently as possible. A great way to do this is by using the Tardy Kiosk feature in Skyward. The Tardy Kiosk can be set to one tardy code, so it’s best to set it to your most common type of tardy. Typically, we see this set to ‘Tardy – Unexcused’. The kiosk allows you to quickly enter or scan the student’s pin and automatically mark them tardy. It can also print a tardy slip for the student. This is great for speeding up the line during high traffic times. It can be automated even further with our integrated hardware that lets a student scan their badge, mobile ID, or enter their pin to have it automatically entered and a slip printed, with no interaction with the front office staff needed!

Automate your Tardy Disciplines

Once you have your tardy tracking streamlined and automated, the next step is automating the disciplines. In Skyward, thresholds can be set to automatically notify students and their guardians of tardies and any corresponding disciplines. We typically see schools set this up to automatically send notifications early the following morning. This way, there’s time for staff to update the tardy if it needs to be switched to ‘Tardy – Excused’ before a ‘Tardy-Unexcused’ discipline email is sent to the student and guardians. The email messages can be customized within Skyward.

Upgrade from Traditional Roll-Call Attendance Taking

Improve your attendance processes further by upgrading traditional classroom attendance taking to Positive Attendance. Positive Attendance assumes all students absent instead of traditional attendance, where everyone is assumed present. Using Positive Attendance in Skyward, students check-in as they enter the classroom to mark themselves as ‘present.’ This can be done using the teacher’s laptop running Skyward or with one of our dedicated Positive Attendance keypad/barcode scanners that directly integrates with Skyward. This style of attendance taking shares the attendance responsibility with students instead of just teachers. It incentivizes students to check in, since the data shows when the student checks in ‘present’ with a timestamp, instead of when a teacher says they are present. This, in turn, creates more accurate, reliable data and the teacher spends less time on roll-call, so they’re able to focus on the more important instructional time.


If you would like more information on how to use Tardy Kiosk, Automated Discipline, Positive Attendance in Skyward, or our integrated hardware solutions, reach out to us at For Skyward Qmlativ Student users, see our new software, SchoolTRAK®.