Truancy Prevention Measures
Due to the new Truancy Law effective September 1, 2015, the following information is critical to the success of effectively implementing a campus-wide strategy to address daily attendance.
Promoting Great Attendance on Your Campus
- Make students and parents feel welcome.
- Make your school a place where students feel safe and respected
- Create a positive environment which celebrates success
- Make same-day person to person contact when a student is absent.
- Have a relationship with community areas where truant youth may congregate
- Promote school hours and days around school and with community and program partners
- Have a relationship with the local law enforcement agency which patrols the area.
- Secure and supervise campus entry and exit points
- Host Student Assemblies to promote great Attendance with Guest Speakers
- Design a morning announcement to highlight the top grade level attendance percentage every Monday
- Schedule weekly Callouts to families and guardians to share grade level attendance percentages
- Conduct outreaches before and after school, during lunch to promote great attendance practices
- Celebrate great attendance before Holiday, Winter, or Spring Breaks
- Reward and recognize good and improved attendance, not just perfect attendance
- Classroom presentations from Counselor, Campus Officer, Attendance Clerk, Administrators
- Download resources from Fed and State Attendance website to promote great attendance at Open House, Family Literacy/Math nights, parent meetings, etc.
- Create Pledge Cards for Parents and students to agree, sign, and save to promote to great daily attendance
- Post Attendance flyers and posters in classroom and school
- Have teachers offer classroom incentives in recognition of great attendance
- Post daily or weekly student attendance inside each Teacher classroom
- Post Perfect YTD, semester, monthly, 6, 9, or 12 weeks attendance in main hallway or other main areas
- Attendance Incentives – homeroom party, pizza, popcorn, free dress day, activities before school begins or during lunch
- Schedule a monthly attendance meeting with campus personnel who work mostly with attendance (Attn. Clerk, Attendance Administrator, Counselor, Social Worker, Parent Liaison, and Nurse)
- Upon returning from absence, have a policy that some adult discusses the absence with the student, and follows up on an excuse note or a consequence for an unexcused absence.
Truancy Prevention Measures
- Contact and inform parent of absences or tardiness daily
- Refer to the Attendance Handbook and quick reference guide for compliance with the law.
- Refer to the Truancy Prevention and Intervention Forms
- Mail weekly 3 Day Warning Notices to eligible students
- Schools are 1st Responders -home visit student
- Review student schedule for possible changes
- Peer/Staff Mediation
- Referral to Administrator
- Discipline Referral Level One
- Conference with student and parent to discuss options for improvement
- Discussion of any recurring barriers to good attendance
- Referral to Counselor, Social Worker, ELL, or SpEd Coordinator of Campus and SSS for needed services
- Refer to SSS to discuss attendance and possible court actions
Student and Parent Role
- Attend all classes each day and be on time in conformity with the compulsory attendance laws of the State of Texas
- Know and obey all rules in the Student Code of Conduct
- Regular attendance and punctuality
- Participate in decisions related to the education of their children
- Adhere to school rules and procedures
- Ensure that their children attend school everyday
- Send students to school on time and prepared to learn
- Read, acknowledge, and understand the rules applicable to their children’s conduct while they are at school
- Emphasize the value of education
- Remain involved with their children from preschool through high school
- Read all communications from the school
- Supply accurate, updated information (including current address and when available, current telephone numbers) to the school promptly
- Monitor children’s progress and communicate with the school
- Become informed about the school’s policies and programs
- Confer with their child’s teacher
Campus Administration Role
The principal of each campus is responsible for reviewing his or her respective Campus Summary Reports for completeness and accuracy. A principal should compare reports from the TEA, which reflect Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) data, to locally produced reports for reasonableness and accuracy. By signing the Campus Summary Report—or, in the case of a paperless attendance accounting system, by indicating his or her approval of data electronically—a principal affirms that he or she has checked, or caused to be checked, the accuracy and authenticity of the attendance data.
- Establish & implement a School Attendance Committee.
- Communicate with parents throughout the year.
- Set and implement discipline management procedures and develop appropriate professional development to support teachers in those areas.
- Inform parents regularly about campus attendance policies and procedures.
- Monitor classrooms to observe student engagement, the lack of which is an important factor in truancy.
- Receive and process attendance referrals.
- Conduct or arrange home visits by campus personnel.
- Ensure the publication and issuance of the Compulsory Attendance Law to all students at the beginning of the school year, and to all new enrollees thereafter.
- Collaborate on attendance issues with key personnel.
- Arrange conference opportunities for parents and students.
- Document results of contact with parents.
- Document any information received from parental contact.
- May include other school personnel involved in investigation.
- Verify contact information during conference.
- Conduct student conferences.
- Refer students with unresolved unexcused absences to campus attendance clerk or attendance committee.
- If determined that there has been a violation of the student code of conduct, a discipline record should be made.
- Develop interventions and/or service referrals.
- Supervise the attendance office and campus attendance procedures for timeliness, efficiency, and compliance.
- Coordinate with the campus Attendance Clerk on possible cases of withdrawal due to non-attendance.
- Determine the PEIMS discipline coding of returned court case results.
- Supervise the monitoring of court orders related to student attendance.
- Approve ADA and Instructional Attendance correction forms.
- Reviews the TAC for unsubmitted ADA attendance and the eSchool Unsubmitted Attendance report for period attendance.
- Review corrective action regarding the attendance of students receiving special education services.
- Assure that non-authorized persons, such as students and volunteers, are not recording official attendance. Attendance must be recorded by the authorized certified person in charge of the students at the ADA period. Names of clerks and other non-certified personnel should not be used for scheduling students nor for official attendance accounting.
Classroom Teacher Role
The elementary school classroom teacher is assigned responsibility for student attendance and serves as the ADA teacher. The ADA teacher initiates parent contact when a student has three or more absences. The ADA teacher completes a campus report form, a discipline reporting form, or requests a computer attendance referral form from the ADA clerk, and submits it to the administrator in charge of attendance. The ADA teacher is required to monitor absenteeism and to submit additional referrals when students fail to attend school regularly. Attendance should be taken in compliance with campus policy. Any corrections should be made promptly and in accordance with campus policy.
Secondary school classroom teachers are responsible for reporting instructional (period) attendance, including ADA attendance, during the second instructional hour of each school day. Secondary teachers should document all communications with students and parents regarding attendance and make referrals to appropriate school personnel regarding unexcused absences and tardiness. Electronic signatures are acceptable. SAAH 3.6
- Take attendance at the official time designated and for each class period
- Maintain accurate attendance records as a grade book component
- Communicate absences to the office in a timely manner
- Implement the school-wide attendance management system
- Ensure that opportunities are provided for all students to make up work for excused and unexcused absences
Campus Attendance Clerk Role
The campus attendance clerk will be generating absence summaries and transcribing the absences or coding information into the accounting system are responsible for adhering to all laws and regulations pertaining to student attendance accounting. Each person entering data into the attendance accounting system must sign an affidavit attesting that the data he or she has entered are true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge—or, in the case of a paperless attendance accounting system, indicate electronically that the person attests that the data he or she has entered are true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge. SAAH 3.1
- Manage campus attendance data, including the prompt posting of absence codes, and the processing and storage of attendance documents such as ADA slips, excuse notes, exemption documents and attendance correction sheets.
- The attendance personnel generating absence summaries and/or transcribing the absences or coding information into the computer are responsible for adhering to all laws and regulations pertaining to student attendance accounting.
- Follow the weekly procedures listed in the Procedures section of this manual.
- When a completed attendance referral is returned, the Attendance Clerk makes copies available for teachers, and maintains a record of the referral.
- Send follow-up referrals in order to resolve problems, monitor sanctions, or if necessary to develop a valid court case.
- Coordinate with the administrator on cases of possible withdrawal due to non-attendance.
- Communicate with campus administration regarding concerns about classroom attendance accounting, non-compliant attendance accounting, and any special situations.
- Generate daily absence reports. and six weeks’ excessive absences report and identify chronically absent students.
- Generate and examine Student Detail Reports (refer to eSchool procedure manual).
- Generate and examine Campus Summary Reports (refer to eSchool procedures manual).
- PEIMS coordinator must reconcile all attendance reports with the District Summary Reports (refer to eSchool procedure manual).
Student Success Specialists Role
Student Success Specialists work with campus personnel to conduct home visits and conferences to determine adequate interventions, and other support for attendance improvement and dropout prevention.
- Collaborate with campus committees and administration to identify students in need of interventions and support services or referrals for dropout prevention.
- Assist campuses in developing strategic community and agency partnerships, relationships, and connections to improve graduation rates and lower dropout rates.
- Assist schools in investigating and locating potential dropouts, documenting leaver status, and advise on leaver coding.
- Conduct home visits and conferences with potential dropouts and family members to resolve barriers, explore options and alternatives, and facilitate re-enrollment of recovered students.
- Compile and tabulate dropout and prevention investigation results for weekly reporting.
3 Steps for Unexcused Absences - All prevention measures should be documented or attached to the Truancy Prevention and Intervention form.
Schools shall continuously attempt to notify parents/guardians of all unexcused absences immediately. Any unexcused absence is to be investigated by the attendance teacher assigned to the course. A notice of progress must be sent to parents of students who have exceeded unexcused absences by the fourth week of the reporting period or as often as may be deemed necessary after the fourth week.
Step 1 Parent Notification
- Requirement: Notification of Compulsory Attendance at the beginning of the year to all new enrollees thereafter.
- Recommendation: Send a warning letter after the first unexcused absence for students with a previous year court referral for truancy.
- When a warning letter comes back with a ‘bad address’
- Campus personnel must call student in to get a correct address.
- If student is not available, campus personnel must call the parent.
- Document all attempts to contact student and/or parent for correct information in eSchool. Continue to attempt contact until resolved.
- Submit new address information to the Registrar for correction in eSchool.
- When a new address is provided, inform the truancy officer if there is a submitted truancy case so that a new summons can be delivered.
- When all attempts have been unsuccessful, a campus administrator must get involved and ensure that a parent is notified.
- A parent conference should be held to address these concerns.
- Parent should be notified promptly of all absences for which an excuse note is not received
Step 2 Weekly Procedures in Attendance Office
- Beginning the 2nd week of the school year, run the Mizuni Truancy Warning Letter (found under Reports - Truancy) at least once a week.
- Use dates to include 10 prior school days. This will find all students who have 3 or more unexcused absences within a two-week period.
- Print and send all Warning Letters. Mizuni will keep a record of issued letters (Truancy Letter Issued report). During the year, more than one Warning Letter may be sent.
- Run the Student Attendance Exception Report or Secondary Truancy Absences Report. Use a date range from the first day of school to the current date and select 3 absences.
- Refer students with excessive absences to their teacher, student success specialist, a campus administrator, counselor and truancy police officer.
- A running log should be kept for all students by grade level who have more than 3 absences.
Step 3 Truancy Prevention Measures and Referrals for students with excessive unexcused absences
- The teacher should conference with the parent/student regarding attendance and keep a record of the conference and any interventions.
- See sample Student/Parent Conference Record in appendix.
- A referral can be made by a teacher, attendance personnel, or other staff to campus administration, a campus committee, or student support personnel.
- See sample Truancy Court Referral Information Form in appendix.
- A campus administrator or student support personnel should promptly conference with the referred student and/or parent to determine the root cause of absences and develop an intervention plan. A record should be kept of the conference, any interventions, or attendance contract.
- After the campus administration has conferred with the parent/student and attempted interventions, a referral can be made to the truancy officers.
- Campus principal should have an attendance committee in order to review attendance and truancy data from his/her campus. An agenda and sign in sheet should be filed for documentation purposes.