About 84 percent of public school students took part in remote learning during the first week New York City tracked the data, released Friday.
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The data, from the week of April 6, is lower than last year’s average in-person school attendance rate, which was 91.5 percent, but the Education Department says the new data on remote learning isn’t the same as taking traditional attendance.
Instead, it tracks what percentage of students had an interaction with their school, which each school defines differently. That could include submitting an assignment, participating in an online discussion, or other communication between a school and the student or student’s families.
The weekly average interaction rate for students across all grades was 84.3 percent. Older students had the lowest rates of logging on -- just 77.1 percent of high schoolers interacted with their schools.
For pre-kindergarten through second grade, the weekly average was 85.9 percent. For grades 3 through 5, it was 87.9 percent. For grades 6 through 8: 85.7 percent.
“This cannot be considered attendance in the traditional sense but helps us understanding who is and isn’t interacting daily, and is data we’re using to support students and prevent learning loss. This allows us to push for the best learning experience possible and prioritize meaningful engagement, frequent learning opportunities, and continued support from staff,” DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said.
Citywide tracking of interactions was not done during the first two weeks of remote learning, a time when many low-income and homeless families were still scrambling to get the laptops, tablets, and internet access they needed to take part in remote learning. Some educators and parents have questioned how useful the data is, saying some students could log on to remote learning platforms without actually being engaged in the lessons taking place.