A teacher counts off her students as they file out of a building

Every Student Every Day: Attendance

The Department of Education is excited to welcome your child back to school! Our schools are safe and supportive environments and the classroom is a better place when your child is here. More time in school means your child will get the social-emotional and academic support they need to thrive, learn, and be happy. We also know getting to school isn’t always easy. We are here to support you. Your child may miss school for illness, emergencies, or for religious reasons, but we want to see every student in school every day. Did you know that a student with 90% attendance has missed one month of school by the end of the year? Please contact your school or call 311 to get connected to what you need for your child to attend school consistently and succeed!”

Here are some basic things you should know about attendance in New York City schools:

  • Schools must take attendance to show whether a student is in school or not; it’s the law.
  • Schools mark a student as P for present or A for absent.
  • There is no general remote learning option this year. If your child is learning remotely because they either have been asked to quarantine or are enrolled in medically necessary instruction, your child will be flagged as “learning remotely” in the DOE’s attendance system.
  • While schools can mark an absence as “excused” for religious reasons, illness, or some other reasons, the excused absence is still an absence and must be part of the student’s record.
  • Schools must tell families when students are absent or late. They will make a positive call or outreach home. Does your school have the right information to contact you? Update your child’s NYCSA account with your current contact information.

Attendance Policies

Record-Keeping and Attendance Rules

Attendance is a required, legal record

A child who does not attend school must be marked absent, even if the absence is excused. Attendance records in the electronic system cannot be changed after the middle of July. However, attendance records may be amended by submitting a letter to the student's file. Ask the school for attendance records, or track your child’s attendance in your NYC Schools account.

Excused absences are still absences.

Schools can excuse absences when a student is absent from school for religious, medical or emergency reasons, but excused absences are a legal part of the student's record.

Excused absences may not count against a student for school awards or participation in school activities. The Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) 90 percent attendance requirement that does not count excused absences.

  • Schools publish their Every Student Every Day Attendance policy, and help students who do miss school to stay on track with take-home and make-up work.

Schools must contact the student's family after every absence

Schools will reach out to learn why students missed school and how to help. Families must provide a reason for absences. Families must have up-to-date phone numbers and addresses so they can reach families.

  • Families should ask schools how and when they will notify you of absences and make sure your phone numbers on your NYC Schools account and on Blue Cards are correct.
  • Schools tell families how and when they will be contacted about absences and regularly check and update family phone numbers and addresses.

Common Reasons Students Miss School

There may be school resources that can help you manage attendance. Click a topic below to find out more.

Does your student miss school because of transportation problems?

  • Find out about school bus routes and student MetroCards on the Metrocards page under Find Out More, below .
  • You can find the best way to get to school by public transportation with
  • Ask the school if there is a “walking school bus” or a group of families who can take turns walking students to school.
  • If you use a yellow school bus, make sure your school has the right phone number and address so you know about any changes.
  • Talk with your school's parent coordinator if you have other travel worries.

Does your student miss school because of health issues?

  • The school parent coordinator, social worker, guidance counselor, or nurse can help; ask them.
  • The DOE School Health site has a list of health programs and benefits, immunizations, and school-based health centers that provide free medical care to all students.
  • Your school can help plan how to manage your student's asthma. Complete the Asthma Action Plan with your school.
  • The Medical Administration Form (see Health Services under Find out More below) allows the school to administer medication if your student needs it.
  • A 504 accommodation (see Find out More below) for a barrier-free site or extra breaks during the day can help a student can stay in school.
  • Learn about health insurance and benefits at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
  • There are mental health services for students with emotional or behavior issues. Visit the Mental Health page under Find Out More,
  • There is Home or Hospital Instruction for students who cannot attend school because of a medical or physical condition, or emotional or psychological disability.

Does your student want to miss school because of school work?

  • Meet with the teacher or counselor and ask about the student's classwork. Ask about tutoring programs or, possibly, evaluations for special services.
  • Get homework help from Dial-a-Teacher.
  • Families of high school students can check the graduation requirements under Find Out More below so they know exactly where the student is on the way to graduation.
  • Families show school is important with simple habits like talking about school every day. Set and keep regular meal and bed times. Have books in the house or visits the library. Celebrate when your student does well.

Does your student want to miss school and you are not sure why?

  • Talk about what is happening in school. If there is bullying, or online bullying talk with the guidance counselor or other staff. Learn about the Respect for All program and what families can do to help.
  • Visit the school and ask for help on how to manage your student's social media use.
  • Find out more about teen health and mental health issues.
  • Look at the programs at DYCD Youth Connect or call 800-246-4646 to ask about after-school programs, tutoring services, and job opportunities for young people.
  • The Family Assessment Program (FAP) office in your borough may be able to help you with crisis services, family counseling, mediation or other services. This is a program within ACS but families do not need to be ACS involved to participate and are not reported to ACS.

Other ways schools can help families with student attendance

  • Ask the school counselor to set up a "contract" with your student with goals for attendance, and rewards and consequences.
  • Set up a time to talk with the parent coordinator or school counselor about attendance and any concerns.
  • Ask about counseling services or a mentor for your student.
  • Are there after school or extra-curricular programs to help keep your student interested in school.
  • Different class schedules or co-op programs for high school students might help.
  • There are resources for families. Let your school know what your family and student needs (housing, healthcare, school supplies, clothes, toiletries).

Daily Attendance Data

Visit Today's Attendance to see citywide attendance reported up to 4PM each school day.

Learn More About Attendance

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