NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a concerning situation for school leaders in New Haven. The Assistant Superintendent told News 8 that 10% of the student population is not engaged in at-home learning.

Elm City school leaders said many students who aren’t participating may be dealing with harsh circumstances, like homelessness. The issues present challenges for schools to connect with students and their families.

“We’re very concerned because we want to track down and know where kids are,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paul Whyte.

The chronic absences now present questions surrounding how students will be graded if for some reason, they aren’t able to do the work.

“We’re looking at a policy that’s going to be flexible enough to honor the work that students have done, but not penalize them for situations that are out of their control. So that could mean ‘incompletes’ or work to be completed later. We don’t want to grade on privilege. Those that have everything in place, the family structure together and everything.”

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker echoed the message.

“For many kids, it’s just very, very difficult to provide the kind of education, but not just education but the many other services that cities like New Haven provide in our public schools that we just can’t provide right now,” said Mayor Elicker.

Dr. Whyte said the Board of Education is working with the state on recommendations for how students will be dealt with as far as grading goes.