The dominant attendance tracking system, even in today’s computer driven world, remains student cards. You have two boxes. One box is labeled 1st Class of the week. The second box is labeled 2nd & 3rd Class.
Students always look for their card in the 1st Class of the week box when the come to their 1st class. Later in the week, they know to look in the 2nd & 3rd Class box for all remaining classes.
Each night the cards are pulled from the 1st Class of the week box and any cards left are from students who missed class and must be called. For instance, Wednesday night after the last class, a quick review of the box reveals that there are 12 Monday / Wednesday night students still in the box. Had they been in class, they would have pulled their card. These students need to get a call that night.
You may want to color code by rank or by nights. For example, you may use a yellow card for Monday / Wednesday students and a white card for Tuesday/ Thursday. You can code by rank with colored stickers.
The system works best when you have assigned class nights for students like any private school. Allowing students to come and go at their whim leads to confusion and lack of control.
First, students burn out too easily in the white/gold belt stages because they’re enthused and excited for about six weeks. Then they can crash and burn. Second, limiting students on your one year entry-level New Student program to two classes positions you to allow a third class when they join the Black Belt Club. Third, you have to know who is coming to class and when, in order to manage your school like a pro.
All schools have assigned classes. In high school you couldn’t skip biology one period and show up the next no more than you could take exams when you wanted. In college, you pick a class and attend at the scheduled times. Your school should be no different.
When a student misses one class it becomes easier for them to miss the second and then they feel behind and maybe anxious about returning. The very best schools call the student before the class is over. The less effective schools call the following week. 24 hours should be the rule of thumb for absence calls.