The Montclair school district will have to come up with a plan to address its absenteeism rate among students.

Last school year, about 14 percent of Montclair High School’s students were “chronically” absent from school. A student in New Jersey is defined as being chronically absent if they miss at least 10 percent of school days, or at least 18 days out of the school year.
Montclair will now have to come up with a plan to address its absenteeism. The governor signed a bill that will require districts with an absenteeism rate of 10 percent or more to develop a corrective action plan.

READ: New bill could require Montclair to address absenteeism

“Chronic absenteeism creates major academic challenges for students, teachers and school administration, and is a gateway to countless challenges later in life for those students who suffer the effects of missing school,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, one of the main sponsors of the bill that has 17 legislators as co-sponsors.

Montclair will now be required to develop a corrective action plan based on a parent input. Many factors lead to truancy such as home life, school environment, student performance, transportation and community expectations. A survey would be compiled with parents identifying barriers to attendance, and developing recommendations to address those barriers.

The bill would require schools to report all absences and suspensions annually. Additionally, schools would be required to provide a school profile, including data such as staff salaries and raises, and a profile of the senior class’ post graduate work or study course.