NYC Posts Lowest School Attendance of the Year

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Despite the heavy snow, schools are open in New York City on February 13, 2014.

Fewer than half of New York City public school students attended classes Thursday, making today the lowest attended school day this year. That's according to preliminary attendance data reported by the Department of Education.

This was also the third time in 2014 that a third or more of the city’s public school students missed class — most likely due to weather events in all three cases. Some parents and educators called it "a mistake" to keep schools open during the messy storm that dumped snow and icy rain on the city. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña cited "lessons learned" from this latest snow storm experience and said the city would seek to do better in communicating school closure decisions in the future.

Prior to 2014, attendance dipped below 66 percent only four times since 2007, according to audited attendance data provided by the DOE. Fewer than half of public school students attended classes on January 22 and only about 64 percent on Feb. 5, preliminary attendance data shows. Both days came on heels of heavy snow and sleet.

Audited attendance tends to be slightly higher than preliminary numbers, as officials review and clarify any missing data. Still, city school attendance has fluctuated almost weekly this year as inclement weather has kept students and teachers from making it in.