In 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education released Getting Students to School: Strategies for Improving Attendance and Reducing ChronicAbsenteeism, which provided local educational agencies a host of strategies to encourage regular attendance. NJDOE recently updated its guidance on the topic, and gave it a new title: Data-based Decision Making for AddressingChronic Absenteeism.

The guidance demonstrates how the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports framework can aid LEAs in their efforts to understand and address barriers to regular attendance.

Data-based Decision Making for Addressing Chronic Absenteeism was developed to provide schools and LEAs with guidance on preventing and responding to chronic absenteeism. The guidance incorporates New Jersey-specific rules and regulations and available resources. It was developed in partnership with educators and related experts in the fields of public health, youth mental health and school district operations.

Schools and LEAs can refer to this resource to develop research-based action plans that include strategies that specifically target barriers contributing to students’ absences. This resource also provides a step-by-step guide that begins with identifying key district members and collecting and analyzing actionable data. By following the guidance, districts will be equipped to operate a tiered model to address student absenteeism and encourage regular attendance.

N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25.1 requires schools to develop a corrective action plan to improve attendance when 10% or more of the students enrolled in a public school are chronically absent. In developing the corrective action plan, the school shall solicit input from parents/caregivers of students currently attending the school. This updated guidance has been designed to provide schools with an optional template and evidence- based interventions to address the statutory requirements.

If you have any questions, contact the Office of Student Support Services via email.