Digital Equity Family Questionnaire

The New York State Education Department is requiring all school districts, including the New York City Department of Education, to collect information from families about students’ access to devices and the internet for the 2021-22 school year. To make this as easy as possible for families, the DOE has added a Digital Equity Family Questionnaire to the NYC Schools Account Parent Portal where you can provide answers to the questions for each of your students in grades kindergarten to 12.

The Questionnaire has nine questions and is easy to fill out in your NYC Schools Account. Your answers will be used to: 

  • help identify school and district needs, 
  • target resources and funding opportunities, and 
  • to inform state policy and legislative initiatives.

Letter for Families

Please share this letter with families to encourage participation.

Use NYCSA

Don’t have a NYC Schools Account? You can get one, today! It’s quick (it takes about five minutes) and easy to sign up. Staff at your child’s school can help you add students to the account, so you can access their information including grades and test scores. You can also take classes in Parent University, report bullying, sign the COVID-19 testing consent form, and more. 

Use a Paper Questionnaire 

If you don’t have a NYCSA account, you can still participate. You can print out the paper Questionnaire, complete it (include your child’s name and OSIS number), and return it to your child’s school. Staff at the school will ensure your answers are counted.

NYCDOE Reporting to NY State

The DOE is required to provide results of this questionnaire to the New York State Education Department throughout this school year. The first report will be sent on December 3, 2021. Families should submit their answers by December 1, so we can have a wide representation of our students and their access to technology.

Questions

1. Did the school district issue your child a dedicated school or district-owned device for their use during the 2021-2022 school year?

  • Yes
  • No

2. What is the device your child uses most often to complete learning activities away from school? (This can be a school-provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.)

  • Desktop
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Chromebook
  • Smartphone
  • No Device

3. Who is the provider of the primary learning device identified in question 2? (This can be a school-provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.)

  • School
  • Personal
  • No Device

4. Is the primary learning device (identified in question 2) shared with anyone else in the household?

  • Shared
  • Not Shared
  • No Device

5. Is the primary learning device (identified in question 2) sufficient for your child to fully participate in all learning activities away from school? 

  • Yes
  • No

6. Is your child able to access the internet in their primary place of residence?

  • Yes
  • No

7. What is the primary type of internet service used in your child’s primary place of residence?

  • Residential Broadband
  • Cellular
  • Mobile Hotspot
  • Community WiFi
  • Satellite
  • Dial Up
  • DSL
  • Other
  • None

8. In their primary residence, can your child complete the full range of learning activities, including video streaming and assignment upload, without interruptions caused by slow or poor internet performance?

  • Yes
  • No

9. What, if any, is the primary obstacle to sufficient and reliable internet access in your child’s primary place of residence?

  • Availability
  • Cost
  • None
  • Other

Guide for Questions

Helpful Definitions

Device is defined as a computing device, such as a laptop, desktop, Chromebook, iPad, or full-size tablet. Device for the purposes of this survey, is NOT a phone or mini tablet, nor is it a mobile internet access point, such as a MIFI.

Dedicated devices are devices that are not shared, which the student is allowed to take with them when they leave the school building in order to participate in learning outside of school. They are for single student use and are not shared with other students or household members. 

Sufficient access means that the student does not regularly experience issues (slowdowns, buffering, disconnections, unreliable connection, etc.) while participating in required or assigned instruction and learning activities, as measured during peak household usage. 

Reliable access should be judged against the goal of All the Time access, as indicated in the National Educational Technology Plan, which states the expectation that technology-enabled learning should be available for all students, everywhere, all the time (NETP 2017). 

Question 1

Did the school district issue your child a dedicated school or district owned device for their use during the school year?

  • Yes means the school district issued the student a dedicated device to use at home.
  • No means that the school district has not issued a dedicated device to the student to use at home.

Question 2 

What is the device your child uses most often to complete learning activities away from school? (This can be a school-provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.)

  • Choose a school-provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.
  • Please select a response other than No Device if you responded Yes to Question 1.

Question 3 

Who is the provider of the primary learning device identified in question 2? (This can be a school-provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.)

  • School means that the school district provided the device for the student to use.
  • Personal means that the student uses a device not provided by the school district.
  • No Device means the student does not have a device to use.
    • You should answer No Device if you previously responded No Device to Question 2.

Question 4 

Is the primary learning device (identified in question 2) shared with anyone else in the household?

  • Shared means multiple students/people share the device for school or work. This can be a school provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.
  • Not Shared means dedicated to one student. This can be a school provided device or another device, whichever the student is most often using to complete their schoolwork.
  • No Device means the student does not have a device to use.
    • You should answer No Device if you previously responded No Device to Questions 2 and 3.

Question 5 

Is the primary learning device (identified in question 2) sufficient for your child to fully participate in all learning activities away from school?

  • Yes means the student has a sufficient device (a computer or computing device such as a laptop, desktop, Chromebook, or full-sized iPad or other tablet), that is able to connect to the internet (even if an internet connection is not always available); has a screen size of at least 9.7; has a keyboard (on-screen or external) and a mouse, touchscreen, or touchpad; and can run all applications, allowing for full participation in learning without or with very limited issues.
  • No means that the student does not have a device that meets the criteria above.
    • You should answer No if you previously responded No Device to Questions 2, 3, and 4 respectively.

Question 6 

Is your child able to access the internet in their primary place of residence? (If student has multiple residences that share equal time, answer this question according to the residence that has the most limited access.)

  • Yes means the student has internet access in their primary residence where the student typically resides.
  • No means the student does not have internet access in their primary residence.

Question 7

What is the primary type of internet service used in your child’s primary place of residence?

  • Residential Broadband means a high-bandwidth connection to the Internet at your home by using a cable (fiber or coaxial) connected to an Internet service provider such as Spectrum, AT+T, Frontier, etc. 
  • Cellular means wireless Internet access delivered through cellular towers to computers and other devices, or uses your cell phone provider for internet access.
  • Mobile Hotspot means a wireless access point created by a dedicated hardware device or a smartphone feature that shares the phone's cellular data. For example, a cell phone or a device like a Kajeet, Verizon Jetpack, Netgear Nighthawk or MiFi.
  • Community WiFi means allowing Internet connection to visitors and guests using an existing Wi-Fi infrastructure in the community such as a library, café, hotel, etc.
  • Satellite means a wireless connection through the use of a satellite dish located on your property.
  • Dial-up means a service that allows connectivity to the Internet by using a modem and a standard telephone line.
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) means a high-speed bandwidth connection from a phone wall jack on an existing telephone network that works within the frequencies so you can use the Internet while making phone calls.
  • Other means none of the other choices apply.
  • None means that you do not have Internet access in your home.
    • You should answer None if you previously responded No to Question 6. 

Question 8 

In their primary residence, can your child complete the full range of learning activities, including video streaming and assignment upload, without interruptions caused by slow or poor internet performance?

  • Yes means the student experiences very few or no interruptions in learning activities caused by poor internet performance in their primary place of residence.
  • No means the student regularly experiences interruptions and is unable to complete all learning activities due to poor internet performance in their primary place of residence or lack of internet access.
    • You should answer No if you previously responded No and None to Questions 6 and 7 respectively.

Question 9 

What, if any, is the primary barrier to having sufficient and reliable internet access in your child’s primary place of residence?

  • Availability means you cannot actually get fiber (or satellite or cell service) at your home. 
  • Cost means the service available to your neighborhood is cost prohibitive.
  • None means that your child has sufficient and reliable access to the internet.
  • Other means none of the other choices apply.
    • You should answer None if you previously responded Yes to Question 8.
Back to Top