Data Notes: What You Need to Know About NYC’s Homeless Elementary School Students

This infographic is part of the Student Homelessness in New York City series, which sheds light on the more than 140,000 NYC public school students who have experienced homelessness over the past seven years.

The data for this infographic is the New York City Department of Education, unpublished data tabulated by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, SY 2010–11 to SY 2016–17.

Students who were identified at any point during SY 2016–17 by the New York City Department of Education as meeting the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness. This includes students in shelter, doubled-up, in hotel/motels, or other temporary arrangements.

Students who lived in a fixed, regular, and adequate housing situation.

Chronic Absenteeism
Missing more than 10%, or more than 18 days, of a 180-day school year.

Mid-Year Transfers
Students who transfer from one school to another at any point during the school year.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a written statement from the NYC Department of Education to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education for students in any of 13 disability categories in the least restrictive environment possible. The IEP outlines the specific individual supports and services that the child will receive, and is created through a collaborative process involving parents, teachers, administrators, and others.

Late Individualized Education Plan
For the purpose of our analysis, a “late” IEP refers to IEPs that a student receives after Kindergarten. The majority of students with IEPs receive them that year, but identification rates for homeless students are significantly lower. “Late” IEP rates will include some students in both housing groups who did not develop a disability until after Kindergarten.

English Language Learner (ELL)
A student who speaks a language other than English at home and is not yet proficient in English. Federal law mandates that school districts provide an equal education opportunity for ELL students, but does not require or advocate a particular program of instruction. ELL students are required to receive services, but may exit by scoring proficient on the New York State English as Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) or through a combination of NYSESLAT scores and ELA or ELA Regent exam scores.

State Assessments
Assessments are administered every year for students in grades 3–8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. Students who score at levels 3 or 4 on a 4-point scale are considered proficient. Students who have resided in the United States for less than one year are not required to take the ELA exam until the following year. Some students with an IEP may take the New York State Alternate Assessments in place of the statewide assessments.