Students in Temporary Housing
Chronic absenteeism (missing 10% or more of school days in a single year) is directly correlated to lower academic performance and higher drop-out rates. Particularly at-risk for chronic absenteeism are Students in Temporary Housing (STH), whose situation adds additional obstacles to their attendance. Providing additional supports for STH is one way to help them maintain attendance at school and improve their chances for success academically and in life.
The Community Schools Initiative (CSI) is a strategy employed by the City and the Department of Education to provide all students with equitable educational opportunities. CSI comprises 140 schools serving 55,000 primarily low-income students and families with stronger academics for students and stabilizing social services including medical care, mental health counseling and family supports.
Community Schools serve a disproportionate number of housing-instable students. Citywide, homeless, and housing-instable students make up 8% of the DOE school population; in Community Schools, the average is 14%. For those 20 Community Schools with the highest rates of STH, the average is nearly 25%.
The Community Schools lend themselves particularly well to targeted programmatic interventions – such as stemming chronic absenteeism for STH – because they already have deep structural supports. Each school has a committed Lead Community Based Organization (CBO) partner that delivers comprehensive services through a dedicated on-site Community School Director (CSD). In addition, the Office of Community Schools (OCS) provides support and connects with other DOE departments, city agencies, and philanthropic partners, allowing schools to efficiently access resources.
To focus specifically on the chronic absenteeism of STH, Deutsche Bank , through The Fund for Public Schools, will provide for a STH Attendance Coordinator to facilitate the OCS strategy to address chronic absenteeism. Specifically, the strategy includes a robust Success Mentor corps (which pairs caring adults with chronically absent students to provide one-on-one attendance coaching), existing wraparound social service supports, and the recently launched eight-shelter pilot partnership in collaboration with the DOE Office of Students in Temporary Housing (DOE STH) and the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to provide coordinated case management between schools and shelters.
The STH Attendance Coordinator will build on this work, with a specific focus on reducing chronic absenteeism among the STH population in the Community Schools. The STH Attendance Coordinator will focus attention on the 20 Community Schools that have the highest STH rates.
The Coordinator will ensure that services – including Success Mentors, connecting at-risk students to services and supports, and providing coordinated case management – are reaching housing-instable students in these schools, resulting in better attendance and an increased likelihood of improved school performance.
The Coordinator will also provide training on serving the needs of STH to those in the larger Community Schools initiative, supporting capacity building, professional development, and providing content expertise to all Community Schools.