BAYONNE, NJ – As the school year opened to students early Wednesday morning, Bayonne families were reminded of the importance of regular attendance.

In his monthly message, Dr. Michael A. Wanko, Superintendent of Bayonne Schools, stressed how important good attendance is for everyone involved.

“Good attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation,” Wanko said, “and the Bayonne Public Schools are committed to dedicating our resources and attention to reducing chronic absenteeism rates, with a focus starting as early as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.”

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Wanko said chronic absenteeism (or the practice of missing 10 percent or more of school) foreshadows a student’s future academic trouble and dropout rate.

“Chronic absence predicts lower third-grade reading proficiency, course failure and eventual dropouts, and it weakens our community and our local economy,” he said.

According to the monthly letter, chronic absence is now a required reporting metric under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, so Wanko said each school will focus more on attendance during the 2018-19 school year. Administrators will “reach out more frequently to absent students to determine what barriers they face to attending school.”

“All students – even those who show up regularly – are affected by chronic absence because teachers must spend time reviewing for students who missed lessons,” Wanko said. “Chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, families and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school.”