Truancy & Attendance Annual Notice for Parents/Guardians
There is no doubt that one of the keys to academic achievement is good attendance. Consistent participation in school and school‑base activities is important for making a successful transition from youth to adulthood. Student tardiness and truancy are challenges that confront many schools. Excellent attendance is a priority for all students. We want all of our students to be successful and achieve at high levels.
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.
Who is a Supervisor of Attendance?
Chapter 76: Section 19. of the Massachusetts General Laws states that each school committee must employ a supervisor of attendance. A supervisor of attendance has the power to apprehend and take to school any child who is truant and is required to investigate all cases where a child in the district fails to attend school. The Northbridge Public Schools has designated the building principals as the supervisors of attendance.
What is a CHINS?
A "CHINS" (Child in Need of Services) petition may be filed in court by a supervisor of attendance 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 51 A?
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.
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, the supervisor of attendance may file a criminal complaint in court against the responsible parent/guardian.
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 .
It is the policy of the Northbridge Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices.