NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — School bus eligibility zones for elementary school students here will soon increase, in an effort to mitigate chronic absenteeism, New Britain Herald reports.

Previously, Consolidated School District of New Britain students who lived more than 1 mile from their school were eligible for school bus service. As of September, students who live more than half a mile from their school can ride the bus, according to the newspaper.

Chronic absenteeism is up to 17% among kindergartners, Joe Vaverchak, the district’s attendance supervisor, told New Britain Herald. Logistical challenges for parents, such as not having access to a car, having younger children at home to care for and inclement weather have been factors causing absenteeism.  

As part of the change, the district will add bus routes, according to WFSB.

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