New Jersey Department of Education

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Student Attendance

Student holding her books, standing and smiling in a classroom with peers.Student absenteeism can lead to low academic achievement, dropping out of school, delinquency and gang involvement. School districts that have established multi-systemic approaches and policies pertaining to student absenteeism typically experience fewer numbers of dropouts and a greater number of graduates. 

The compulsory education law (N.J.S.A. 18A:38-28 through 31) requires all children between the ages of 6-16 to attend school. The attendance regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6), require each district board of education to develop, adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding the attendance of students, including the adoption of a definition of "unexcused absence" that counts towards truancy.  While the regulations allow for the parent to be referred to municipal court for a truant child, consideration should be made to refer or coordinate with a community-based social and health provider agency, other community resource, or the juvenile/family crisis intervention unit (FCIU). For more information contact the FCIU in your area.

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