Teacher-student engagement and student attendance are an important part of ensuring the safety, welfare, and educational success of students in New York City. Accordingly, monitoring and following up on engagement and attendance continue to be one of the NYCDOE’s most important responsibilities. 

In accordance with the State’s recently released guidance on “Attendance for Instructional Purposes,” the NYCDOE is working to update our systems for collecting and reporting daily teacher/student engagement.

As the district prepares for school reopening and is planning for a variety of remote and blended instructional models, we will utilize a streamlined mechanism for collecting daily teacher/student engagement that is functional in a variety of contexts and that provides schools with flexibility to accommodate their unique needs.

Our goals in establishing this mechanism for capturing teacher/student engagement are:

  • Maintain regular contact with students to ensure participation and engagement 
  • Ensure the right supports get to the right students at the right time; and
  • Monitor student general well-being.

In light of the requirements set forth by the State and our district’s goals in ensuring the ongoing engagement and well-being of our students, the NYCDOE will continue to require schools to collect and report daily teacher/student engagement to the Central Office. Our mechanism for capturing engagement will align to national and state recognized best practices and will also account for the nuances of monitoring teacher/student engagement in both remote and in-person instructional models. We are working to ensure that attendance is housed in a single data system regardless of whether students are following a remote, hybrid, or in-person schedule to ensure consistency of protocol and to ensure that the system will be functional if a return to full remote learning is necessary.

Below is a brief description of how this system for capturing and monitoring daily teacher/student engagement will operate at the school-level:

  • Schools will be required to follow a district-approved process for tracking and monitoring daily teacher/student engagement regardless as to whether the student is remote or in person;
  • Schools will be able to assign a homeroom teacher or advisory teacher as a daily point of contact for attendance purposes;
  • Schools will adhere to a tiered response protocol in monitoring chronic absenteeism and will employ evidence-based student engagement strategies that are shared through Every Student, Every Day such as Success Mentoring and weekly data-driven attendance meetings. Schools will also be able to leverage community resources to re-engage chronically absent students; 
  • School reporting of daily teacher/student engagement and student attendance will be aggregated by the NYCDOE Central office in a centralized system and the data will be used for continuous improvement and to inform professional development, coaching and related supports to schools to address chronic absenteeism. 

Schools will share a School Year 2020-21 Attendance Plan with the school community and the NYCDOE Central Office.

  • The Attendance Plan will feature the protocols for engaging with every student every day, and ensuring student well being, health and safety. 
  • The school will publish the Attendance Plan on the school’s website and through other communication pathways and will submit the plan to the NYCDOE central office.
  • Each school’s Attendance Plan must show how the school will differentiate attendance supports for special populations, such as students with disabilities and students in temporary housing. 
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