Hi Again,

I would like to ask regarding School Attendance.
Is it possible to cut attendance for Grade 12 students that have finished their exam earlier than the end of school year? also when the teachers does not need to do attendance for Grade 11 during their exams week.
Another special case is when all students and teachers in secondary are out in the field the whole day for Athletics day where the teacher only doing attendance in the morning for homeroom and not the rest of the days.

I see that the school calendar is sett for all schools years, just wondering if there any way to sett the calendar for certain days for certain grades.

Thank you for your help.


Still waiting for your reply for my questions below…thank you.

I don’t think it’s possible to cut attendance for one year group at a time, or set a special day on the calendar for specific year groups. However, the attendance system never assumes a student is either absent or present unless the attendance is recorded for that day, so by not taking attendance it won’t show the students as absent, it’ll just be a day that’s greyed out in their student history. Hope this helps!

Ayu, sorry for the delay in replying, I have been pondering how to solve this. It is something that effects my school as well, but our solution has always been to live with it. Perhaps one way of dealing with it is a pair of optional fields in Admin > School Admin > Manage Form Groups, where you can specify start and end dates for each of the form/roll groups. If left blank they will default to the school year dates, but otherwise you could set dates starting late or finishing early in the year. This could then be used in attendance, and the timetable. What do you think? Would that work for your needs? Ross.

I wonder if assigning year groups to terms could be a way to help tackle this, or if that’s a whole separate can of worms. Our elementary and secondary terms are quite different, the number of them and the start/end/break dates, so-far we’ve been getting by with just using one set of terms but it gets a bit tricky in some spots.

Sandra, that is an interesting idea, but it would require reworking parts of large swathes of the system. Expanding on that idea I’d love to have a “multi school” install option that works like WordPress’s Multi Site. Hmmm. Given what’s on the cards for v15, I am not sure anything than the most basic fix is reasonable right now. Can you think of any issues with the variable start/end dates for different form groups? Ross.

Multi-school would certainly be ambitious (it is something our school could benefit from, the scope of changes kinda boggles the mind though).

The only issue that comes to mind is the gibbonRollGroupID might need to be passed to every isSchoolOpen call, which could be tricky in some spots. Would a variable start/end date cover enough cases, or perhaps assigning year groups to the special days could work the same way and still be pretty flexible (re-timing days or school closed for specific grades).

Hi there. Is it possible that we can take attendance for every lesson or twice a day. Or is it only possible to take attendance once a day?

Hi Stacey, using Take Attendance by Class, you can do attendance for each and every lesson during the day. For Take Attendance by Roll Group, you can take attendance multiple times throughout the day. However, Gibbon does not support multiple attendance sessions (e.g. separate reports for AM and PM attendance), although there does seem to be some demand for this, so it might be interesting to explore at some point. Thanks, Ross.

Has there been any progress on the possibility of making the school day have two official attendance sessions? Would this entail a major change in the code, in other works do you think we could modify this locally given a modicum of knowledge or would it be a deep structural change?

Hello sbaldwin, no progress on this one I am afraid. Whilst it would be useful, it is not a minor change, and attendance is already pretty complex. @ross do you have any thoughts on if/when/where this might happen? Thanks! Ross.

Hi @sbaldwin and @admin

If/when/where is a tricky question. At the moment I can’t offer to build it. It’s not currently a requirement for any of the schools I work with, so it doesn’t fit into the scope of my day-job. If we’re keen to add this to the codebase, there may be a couple options to consider:

  • A developer could build these features into Gibbon themselves, and PR the changes to the core. We would be happy to connect on Slack and discuss their approach to help ensure it is something that could be merged into the Gibbon core.

  • We could offer commercial Gibbon support to develop this feature into the core. Feature-driven development can be a viable option for open source projects. It enables adding specific functionality that clients need, while also sharing those back with the wider community.

Hi @Sbaldwin
I too have the same requirement as you. So what I do is I take attendance by setting a First 5 min session in the morning for attendance in the timetable and then during afternoon session I take attendance and edit it in case a student has taken half day and mark student as half day.

Hello, @ross
We have noticed that unless a user has the role of teacher, they can’t take attendance. We have adjusted permissions, experimented with roles etc to no avail. Can’t we override role permissions to allow teacher assistants for example to do that?
Look forward to hearing from you…

Hi pllabreu, I’m sorry to hear you’ve gotten stuck on this. What you are describing is definitely possible within Gibbon (we do it at ICHK Secondary for example), and so it’ll be a matter of settings.

Can you let me know what permissions you’ve given to your teacher assistants (under Admin > User Admin > Manage Permissions) to attempt to allow them to take attendance?

When you say that they can’t take attendance, can you tell us more about what exactly you are experiencing.

One issue might be permissions on particular attendance codes, which you can check out under Admin > School Admin > Attendance Settings. Click on edit against the various Attendance Codes, and check the Available to Roles setting: teaching assistants should be selected, or they should all be blank (e.g. no restrictions).



Dear Ross
Thank you very much for the instructions. Since we we happy with the attendance code options available in the system, we did not change anything and never knew we’d have to give permission to specific roles we had created.

We needed Teaching Assistants to perform the specific task of taking attendance but the options were grayed out because they did not have the permission on attendance codes. That makes sense now that we know it.

All is working as expected now.

Cheers and congrats once again