DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Keeping Our Kids Safe, Healthy & In School

Attendance & Truancy

Student absenteeism can lead to low academic achievement, school dropout, 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," and the provision of mandated services for students with between one and nine cumulative unexcused absences and a mandated court referral for truant students, those with ten or more cumulative unexcused absences. Information and resources for the prevention and remediation of attendance problems can be found below.

Government Agencies


  • All References below can be found at the New Jersey Legislature's website:
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25 Attendance required of children between six and 16;
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-26 Days when attendance required
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-27 Truancy and juvenile delinquency defined
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-28 Truants;  return to parents or school
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-29 Warning and arrest of vagrants or habitual truants
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-30 Assistance of sheriffs, police officers, etc.
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-31 Failure to comply with provisions of article; fine
    • N.J.S.A. 18A:38-32 District and county vocational school attendance officers




State Initiatives

Professional Associations