DOE school probed for attendance of ‘phantom student,’ grade fraud

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Cobble Hill School of American Studies kept a 14-year-old “phantom student” on its roster for nearly three months despite teachers telling administrators back in October that he never showed up for remote classes, staffers told The Post.

“I told them the child was not in my classes. He never reported,” a  teacher said of John Tomasi, a private-school freshman whom the city Department of Education erroneously enrolled in the Brooklyn high school.

”The administration was aware of it. This student was not in anybody’s classes.” 

Not only did Cobble Hill issue two bogus report cards for John, but the documents listed a non-existent guidance counselor — one who left the school to work elsewhere in June and was never replaced, insiders said. The school also wrongly sicced city child-welfare investigators on the Tomasi family for possibly neglecting or mistreating their “chronically absent” son.

The city Department of Education gave no explanation for the deception, but spokesman Nathaniel Styer said the case has been referred to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools.

The missteps highlight the DOE’s stumbling system of tracking student attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic when at least two-thirds of students are instructed remotely.

Tomasi, who never attended public schools, is an honor student at private Xaverian HS, and never enrolled in Cobble Hill.

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