Staten Island Live: Chronic absenteeism at challenged schools: How will student attendance rates be impacted by coronavirus?


December 10, 2020

“STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Chronic absenteeism is a persistent challenge facing some North Shore schools, and with New York City students learning amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some are concerned that the absenteeism rate will increase as children who may lack key resources to learn remotely — in many cases full-time.

“Under the pandemic, you’ve now added another kind of barrier, which we didn’t have before — which is connectivity,” said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, a national organization based in San Francisco, Calif., that works to reduce chronic absenteeism. “Do you have a working device, do you now have internet connection? Do you have a place where you can go to school from with your computer and your internet? …If you have multiple kids, do you have space for them where they can even be on a virtual class and then again you have the bandwidth issues because you have multiple people trying to use bandwidth.””

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