Showing Up Matters: The State of Chronic Absenteeism in New Jersey, 3rd Annual Report
Since the release of Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s (ACNJ) first report on chronic
absenteeism just two years ago, schools in our state are stepping up to tackle this silent problem.
Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the total enrolled school days,
including both excused and unexcused absences and suspensions. During the last few years,
officials have been paying more attention to the number of students missing too much school
and finding out the reasons for those absences. ACNJ’s continuous advocacy on this topic has
prompted educators and community leaders from across the state to think more intentionally and
creatively about school attendance.
These efforts are making a difference. About 8,000 fewer students were identified as being “chronically absent” in the 2015-16 school year, compared with the prior year.
Moreover, during the same period of time, fewer districts had 10 percent or more of their students chronically absent.