Scrap study halls for activity time, if necessary. Executive Director Christine Haas says, "This program is a combination of early intervention and early attention.
While truancy among elementary aged children is generally due to family issues, among middle and high school youth personal factors play a bigger role. Not every student is motivated by the prospect of higher education. Absenteeism is not just a problem for the students who choose to ditch school and their parents and teachers. Communities can also provide positive incentives for responsible parents who ensure their child's regular school attendance. If the student fails the program, formal court intervention is the next step. Department of Education in cooperation with the U. In , roughly 14 percent of students nationwide were chronically absent—defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days, excused or unexcused, which in most states would correspond to about 18 days of school missed each year. Missing school causes students to fall behind in their studies, making a return to class harder with each day missed. For example, business and community leaders may lend support by volunteering space to house temporary detention centers, establishing community service projects that lead to after school or weekend jobs, or developing software to track truants. Users' Guide to Deterring Truancy Each school and each community need to decide which steps to take to reduce truancy. If truancy programs are going to be successful, educators, legislators, and the entire community need to work together to give kids lots of reasons to go to school.
Many truancy programs contain components which provide intensive monitoring, counseling and other family-strengthening services to tru ants and their families. For example, in a recent Evidence Speaks postJing Liu and Susanna Loeb reported that high school teachers have differential effects on unexcused class absences—that is, when students miss only part of the school day—highlighting how the academic environment can influence school attendance.
Probation officers visit parents at home one-on-one, check on the youth at school weekly, and in the majority of cases refer youth and their families to one or more needed social service agencies. And yet, despite considerable effort on the part of schools, communities, and states over the past 20 years, little progress has been made.
Look What She Starr-ted!
Despite the belief among most educators that family problems cause chronic truancy, the fact is that schools can deal with many of the issues that cause truancy -- even in the face of indifferent or ineffective parenting.
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