Truancy and Attendance

There is no doubt and research proves that one of the keys to academic achievement is excellent attendance.  Consistent participation in school and school activities is important for making a successful transition from youth to adulthood.  Student tardiness and truancy are challenges that confront many schools including the Northbridge Public Schools.  Excellent attendance is a priority for all students.  We want all of our students to be successful and achieve at high levels.

Did you know that students who are absent more than ten school days are at risk for academic failure and dropping out of school?


School Attendance

School Attendance Chapter 76: Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school.  It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that their children attend school!

What is a CHINS?

A "CHINS" (Child in Need of Services) petition may be filed in court by an administrator if a child between the ages of six and sixteen persistently and willfully fails to attend school or persistently violates lawful and reasonable regulations of his or her school.  The Court's authority pursuant to a CHINS petition includes the power to place the child in the custody of the state agency known as the Department of Social Services.

What is a 51A?

A 51A is a report of suspected child abuse or neglect that is filed with the Department of Social Services.  Under Chapter 119, section 51A of the Massachusetts General Laws, a report can be filed on behalf of a child under the age of eighteen for educational neglect if a child is not attending school on a regular basis.

Parental Responsibility

Parents or guardians are legally responsible for ensuring that a child under their control attends school daily.  It is a crime for a responsible parent or guardian not to cause such a child to attend school.  If a child fails to attend school for seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions within any six month period, administrators may file a criminal complaint in court against the responsible parent/guardian.

Inducing Absences

It is a crime to induce or attempt to induce a minor to miss school, or unlawfully to employ or to harbor a minor who should be in school.


If you have any questions please contact a member of our administration or guidance team.  The average daily attendance at our High School and Middle School is below the state average.  It is important that we all work together to make sure every child comes to school every day.  Do you want your child to be successful?  If the answer is yes, then you must monitor your child's daily attendance.  You can do that by signing up for iParent.  Contact your child's school to sign up for iParent.