Chronic absenteeism last school year presents challenges

More than 40% of NYC public school students were chronically absent last school year

More than four in 10 New York City public school students ended last school year marked “chronically absent,” as families navigated the lingering effects of the pandemic and a COVID-19 surge that kept students home in record numbers, according to new city data.

Nearly 41% of city students were classified “chronically absent” — an attendance rate of below 90% — during the 2021-2022 school year, according to the recently released Mayor’s Management Report. That is by far the highest chronic absenteeism rate in more than two decades, and comes even after the Education Department launched a blitz to improve attendance during the second half of the last school year.

“There were so many shifting things. Last year ended up being much harder than people anticipated, and the chronic absenteeism reflects that,” said Aurora Kushner, the director of impact and continuous improvement at NYC Outward Bound Schools, an organization that partners with dozens of city public schools.

The reasons for the surge in student absences are complex. Educators said that kids were still grappling with the aftereffects of the pandemic and switch to remote learning, with many juggling additional responsibilities or facing mental health problems.

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Source: NY Daily News