Excessive Absences for Students in Transitional Housing

WebQuest for Middle School Students


Created by: Allary Montague

Contact: Amontague2@schools.nyc.gov



Students in Transitional Housing have difficulties maintaining consistent classroom attendance


1) Introduction

Students living in transitional housing face many difficult problems and hardships. The trauma these students face includes, but is not limited to emotional, mental, physical, and sexual. While there are specific organizations to address these issues, there is an absence of organizations to adress the issue of attendance within these communities.


2) Task

Congratulations! You have been identified as a leader within your school community. You are tasked with forming a team of peers to formally analyze and research this problem along with devising a solution or system of solutions to immediately and adequately address this specific problem. Your team will be tasked with researching the most effective manner to inform your school community of this problem and all possible solutions. Your teacher will assign individuals specific tasks within each group


Vital Information

-          Define transitional housing and the possible steps which may lead a child to live in this type of setting.

-          Examine the public opinion of people who live in transitional housing (shelters)

-          Analyze whether the legal definitions of homelessness have caused a negative stigma to be associated with people living in transitional housing and possible actionable steps to alter this perception

-          Within your group, research the daily life of a student who either has or currently is living in transitional housing. Ensure your interview focuses on their attendance or lack of and whether or not this affects their academic life in a negative way.

-          Once your interview is completed, your group should interview a teacher whose class is comprised of a population that is equal parts (or relatively equal) traditional housing and transitional housing. Your questions should be focused on the quality of work received from both student populations.

-          Once both interviews are completed, your group is tasked with creating a pamphlet identifying the disadvantages students in transitional housing face due to attendance issues. Additionally, your groupís pamphlet should include possible solutions or a solution set in which this social issue may be addressed.

-          Finally, your group should create an instructional video (with PowerPoint, brochure, or other presentation form accompaniment) informing the principal and other community leaders of the problem as well as your solutions. Be sure your solutions are clear, concise and feasible.


3) Process

Your group will now be utilizing the Public Policy Analyst (PPA) tool to further guide your research.


PPA Steps

1.  Define the Problem   Worksheet#1

2.  Gather the Evidence   Worksheet #2

3.  Identify the Causes   Worksheet #3

4.  Evaluate an Existing Policy   Worksheet #4

5.  Develop Solutions   Worksheet #5

6.  Select the Best Solution  Worksheet#6


Your research should include information, including, but in no way limited to:

Definition of transitional housing

Racial and economic groups with higher amounts of students in transitional housing

Attendance rates of students in transitional housing for the last five years



a)      Keeping Track Online Ė The Status of New York City Children https://data.cccnewyork.org/data/bar/1282/students-living-in-temporary-housing#1282/a/1/1488/99

b)     NYC is home to more than 111,000 homeless students, new data shows https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2020/12/04/nyc-is-home-to-more-than-111000-homeless-students-new-data-shows/

c)      Absenteeism Among Homeless Students: Where Housing and School Instability Meet https://www.icphusa.org/commentary/absenteeism/

d)     THE MCKINNEY-VENTO ACT: EDUCATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj05-_-k4HwAhUNd98KHa1JB70QFjAFegQIDRAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nysed.gov%2Fcommon%2Fnysed%2Ffiles%2Fnysed-guidance-education-for-homeless-children-and-youths-program-final.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1ik_0p

e)      Advocates for Children in New York https://advocatesforchildren.org/who_we_serve/students_in_temporary_housing


4)  Evaluation

-          You will be graded based on the rubric that corresponds to your groupís choice of product:

-          5% of your grade will be based on the Group Evaluation Form. All members of your group are to complete their own assessment of each member.

Google Slides Rubric

Research Google Slides Rubric










Points Earned

Points Possible


Google Slides provides an especially clear presentation of the topic. Each slide has several images, reasons, details, and/or facts from several resources.

Google Slides provides a clear presentation of the topic. Each slide has several images, reasons, details, and/or facts from the number of sources required.

Google Slides provides information about the topic. Some images, reasons, details, and/or facts may be missing.

Google Slides is missing a lot of the required information



The information on the slides is well organized and under the correct heading.

The information is organized but the slides may be missing headings or information.

Some of the information is in the wrong spot, causing confusion.

The organization of Google Slides is missing.



Each slide is beautifully designed with a variety of fonts and images. The images used add to the information given.

The slides include a variety of fonts and images.

The slides use a variety of images but some of the images may not go along with the information.

The Google Slides did not contain images to go along with the content.



Punctuation and grammar are correct. The spelling is correct.

The Google Slides has a few minor errors in punctuation, spelling, or grammar.

Google Slides has several errors in punctuation, spelling, or grammar causing confusion.

Many errors made Google Slides confusing and hard to read. Help is needed to make corrections.



Used three or more sources.

Used two sources.

Used one source.

No sources used.



You did not read off of the slides and made eye contact with the audience. The information verbally provided enhanced the information on the slides.

You did not read off of the slides but may not have engaged the audience. The verbal information added to the presentation.

You mostly read off of the slides. There was minimal additional information and may not have engaged the audience.

You only read from the slides. You did not seem familiar with the topic.





PowerPoint Rubric







Background does not detract from text or other graphics. Choice of background is appropriate for this project.

Background does not detract from text or other graphics. Choice of background could have been better suited for the project.

Background does not detract from text or other graphics. Choice of background foes not fit project.

Background makes it difficult to see text or competes with other graphics on the page.

Text - Font Choice & Formatting

Font formats (e.g., color, bold, italic) have been carefully planned to enhance readability and content.

Font formats have been carefully planned to enhance readability.

Font formatting has been carefully planned to complement the content. It may be a little hard to read.

Font formatting makes it very difficult to read the material.

Content - Accuracy

All content throughout the presentation is accurate. There are no factual errors.

Most of the content is accurate but there is one piece of information that might be inaccurate.

The content is generally accurate, but one piece of information is clearly flawed or inaccurate.

Content is typically confusing or contains more than one factual error. It is difficult to understand the time period that was chosen.

Spelling and Grammar

Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors.

Presentation has 1-2 misspellings, but no grammatical errors.

Presentation has 1-2 grammatical errors but no misspellings.

Presentation has more than 2 grammatical and/or spelling errors.

Use of Graphics

All graphics are attractive (size and colors) and support the theme/content of the presentation.

A few graphics are not attractive but all support the theme/content of the presentation.

All graphics are attractive but a few do not seem to support the theme/content of the presentation.

Several graphics are unattractive AND detract from the content of the presentation.


Project includes all material needed to gain a comfortable understanding of the time period chosen.

Project includes most material needed to gain a comfortable understanding of the time period chosen.

Project is missing more than two key elements.

Project is lacking several key elements and has inaccuracies


Student presented the material with confidence.

Student presented material but could have been more confident.

Student had many difficulties presenting materials.

Student was unable to complete presentation before the class.


5) Conclusion

By the end of this assignment, you will not only be able to communicate the reasons as to why there is a major attendance problem among students living in transitional housing, but also propose a viable solution to this problem.


6) Standards

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3
here for specific expectations.)