SCHOOL DESK

No child left behind? Think again

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That’s the findings recently announced by city council Speaker Corey Johnson and his education chair, Councilman Mark Treyger, after a study of remote class attendance since the start of the academic year.

The data was the result of a subpoena the council filed against the city’s education department. 

And, according to a release, many racial inequities reported in 2019 have continued into the pandemic.

Schools where at least half the student bodies identify as Black or Hispanic/Latino were nearly eight times more likely to report low attendance rates compared to those with lower Black or Hispanic/Latino student populations. Also, schools where at least a quarter of students identified as Black were four times as likely to report low attendance rates than schools with a smaller Black student population. 

Finally, schools where at least a quarter of the student body identified as white showed higher rates of student emails and participation in remote check-ins. 

But this is just the tip of the iceberg, Johnson said.

 “The school system’s policy is to say a student attended even if all they did was send a text or email,” Johnson said, in a release. “The de Blasio administration needs to provide us with more clarity and understanding of remote learning during COVID-19 so we can properly address the disparities and provide the support New York City’s students need.”

Treyger was concerned the city’s most at-risk and under-resourced communities weren’t getting the support they needed. As a result, he asked for the attendance data for some 1,200 schools in order to get an idea of what type of help was needed — and where.

“I asked for school-by-school attendance data because, as a former teacher, I understand how attendance is a major indicator of student progress and school climate,” Treyger said, in a release. 

“We need this information to know how to target and fight for additional support for kids who need it the most.”

New learning center opens on Mosholu

Hybrid and remote learning present myriad challenges for parents, not the least of which is child care for younger students. A new center in the area looks to help.

The Brilliant Minds Learning Center recently opened its doors at 5625 Mosholu Ave. Its owner, Caterina DiTillio, says her center is equipped to guide students through remote learning and provide other activities for them when the school day is over. DiTillio earned her education doctorate from Fordham University.

The center’s opening comes at a tumultuous time for academic support across the country. With the city’s shift to hybrid and remote learning for its students, tutoring and supplemental help might be needed now more than ever as students adjust to their new normal — or at least normal for now.

At Brilliant Minds, parents have a choice of full-day services, extended days to 5:30 p.m., after school and tutoring. 

To learn more, visit BrilliantMindsLC.org.

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