Policy - JHB

POLICY: JHB

EFFECTIVE DATE: 1/1/10

CANCELS SHEETS DATED: 1/12/09

REVISED BY POLICY COMMITTEE: 11/3/09

 

 

 

HABITUAL TRUANTS

 

A. A student is habitually truant if the student: (1) Has completed grade 6 and has the equivalent of 10 full days of unexcused absences or 7 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year; or (2) Is at least 7 years of age and has not completed grade 6 and has the equivalent of 7 full days of unexcused absences or 5 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year.

 

 

B. The following procedures are to be followed when a student is habitually truant:

 

If a principal and the attendance coordinator determine that a student is habitually truant, the principal shall inform the superintendent. The superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall first try to correct the problem informally. Informal attempts to correct the problem must include meeting with the student and the student's parents to identify possible causes of the habitual truancy and develop a plan to implement solutions to the problem. If an initial meeting does not resolve the problem, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall implement interventions that best address the problem.

 

The interventions may include, but are not limited to:

 

(1) Frequent communication between the teacher and the family;

(2) Changes in the learning environment;

(3) Mentoring;

(4) Student counseling;

(5) Tutoring, including peer tutoring;

(6) Placement into different classes;

(7) Evaluation for alternative education programs;

(8) Attendance contracts;

(9) Referral to other agencies for family services; and

(10) Other interventions, including, but not limited to, referral to the school attendance coordinator, student assistance team or dropout prevention committee.

 

Note: Failure of the student or the student's parents to appear at scheduled meetings does not preclude the school administrators from implementing a plan to address the student's habitual truancy.

 

C. As part of correcting the problem informally, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall require the student and the student's parents to attend one or more meetings with the student's teacher or other school personnel designated by the superintendent. The purpose of the meetings is to reinforce the plan developed in paragraph B or to develop an alternative plan. The meeting or meetings may involve the presence of others, including, but not limited to, case managers, therapeutic treatment providers and representatives of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services and the Department of Corrections. The superintendent or superintendent's designee shall arrange mutually convenient meeting times.

 

D. If the superintendent or superintendent's designee is unable to correct the truancy of the child, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall serve or cause to be served upon the parent in hand or by registered mail a written notice that attendance of the child at school is required by law.

 

The notice must:

 

(1) State that the student is required to attend school pursuant to section 5001-A;

(2) Explain the parent's right to inspect the student's attendance records, attendance coordinator's reports and principal's reports;

(3) Explain that the failure to send the student to school and maintain the student in regular attendance is a civil violation in accordance with section 5053-A and explain the possible penalties;

(4) State that the superintendent or the superintendent's designee may notify the local law enforcement department of a violation of this statute and the Department of Health and Human Services of a violation under subsection 1, paragraph C; and

(5) Outline the plan developed to address the student's habitual truancy and the steps that have been taken to implement that plan.

 

E. Prior to notifying the local law enforcement department under paragraph E, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall schedule at least one meeting as required in paragraph B and may invite a local prosecutor.

 

F. If, after 3 school days after service of the notice referred to in paragraph C, the student remains truant and the parent and student refuse to attend the meeting scheduled according to paragraph D, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall report the facts of the unlawful absence to the local law enforcement department, which may proceed with an action to enforce section 5053-A against the parent unless the student is at once placed in an appropriate school or otherwise meets the requirements under section 5001-A.

 

G. When a student is determined habitually truant and in violation of section 5001-A and the superintendent or superintendent's designee has made a good faith attempt to meet the requirements of paragraph B, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall notify the school board and the local law enforcement department of the student's truancy.

 

After this notification, a local law enforcement officer who sees the truant student may transport the truant student to the appropriate school if the truant student:

 

(1) Is off school grounds during school hours; and

(2) Is not under the supervision of school personnel.