To address the drop in attendance among students, the Department of Education of New York will now allow remote learning as an option for students.
Based on the new Department of Education policy, students who don’t show up even though they are not sick or under quarantine won’t be marked absent if they meet with teachers during Zoom office hours and get class materials online.
Sources said the policy also allows students to be marked present, for instance, if they log onto Google Classroom to view PowerPoint presentations, subject notes, and assignments.
The new policy also allows students to communicate with teachers via email.
According to reports, the chance of policy came after Mayor Eric Adams revealed he was willing to negotiate a “temporary remote option” with the teachers’ union.
Based on the latest Department of Education data, after the holiday break on Jan. 3, attendance in DOE schools sunk to 67 percent.
Last Friday, the attendance was only 76 percent.
The data also shows that with an enrollment of 938,000 students, that means 234,500 kids missed classes.
Meanwhile, in an email to principals last week, First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg said schools “cannot be required” to give online instruction or office hours to students absent for “non-COVID reasons” or if a family is keeping a student home and is requesting assignments.
“However, if staff are willing and their supervisor approves,” they can do so “and be compensated accordingly,” Weisberg said.
DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer said the city still considers schools “the safest places for young people to be,” but is trying to be the most flexible in providing an education to every student.”