The Grade

Education in Stamford

Just what were the absence rates during the Blizzard of ’13?

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According to data provided by Stamford Public Schools, 40 percent of Stamford’s school children were absent from class last Friday when the Blizzard of ’13 pummeled the city.

There’s a full report in Tuesday’s Advocate, in which the story points out that “Absences were highest in the elementary schools, where just more than half the students stayed home for the day. In total, 47 percent of the youngest students never made it to school. That’s 4,054 students, equivalent to the total population of Toquam, Newfield, Northeast, Stark, Stillmeadow and Westover elementary schools — plus another 30 children.”

Here’s what the total absence tally looked like, school by school:

But it wasn’t just students that stayed home. According to the district’s Director of Research Judy Singer, there were 229 staff members absent Friday. That figure accounts for classroom teachers, speech pathologists, librarians, social workers and a few other varieties of educators, but does not include paraeducators, Singer noted.

That’s a pretty high number, average out at about 23 adults per school. On Monday, the number was still a bit higher than normal, at 178 absences, though it had shrunk significantly from last week. Singer pointed out that 95 percent of the staff members absent on Monday lived in towns other than Stamford, and factors such as bad roads, a lack of power, or the need to stay home with their own children who may have school cancelled likely contributed to the situation.

With the substitute rate for Stamford schools beginning at $90 a day, subs for Friday and Monday alone will cost the district a minimum of $36,630.

Categories: General
Maggie Gordon

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