dupage county regional office of education truancy prevention and intervention
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DuPage County Regional Office of Education Truancy: Prevention and Intervention

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DuPage County Regional Office of Education Truancy: Prevention and Intervention. Introduction Definition Four Basic Elements Contributing to Student Absence and Suggested School Interventions Development and Implementing an Effective Intervention Plan

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  • Definition
  • Four Basic Elements Contributing to Student Absence and Suggested School Interventions
  • Development and Implementing an Effective Intervention Plan
  • DuPage County Regional Office Referral Process
  • Examples
  • Discussion\Questions
Kathleen Meyers L.S.W. Behavior Interventionist630.407.5811 John A. GlimcoAssistant Regional Superintendent630.407.5772

Truancy Contacts


Defining Truancy

Illinois School Code(105 ILCS 5/26-2a) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-2a)

A "truant" is defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof.


Definitions continued

"Chronic or habitual truant" shall be defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 10% or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days.


Definitions continued

"Truant minor" is defined as a chronic truant to whom supportive services, including prevention, diagnostic, intervention and remedial services, alternative programs and other school and community resources have been provided and have failed to result in the cessation of chronic truancy, or have been offered and refused.


Definitions continued

A "dropout" is defined as any child enrolled in grades 1 through 12 whose name has been removed from the district enrollment roster for any reason other than his death, extended illness, graduation or completion of a program of studies and who has not transferred to another public or private school.


Definitions continued

"Valid cause" for absence shall be illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the board of education in each district, or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for the safety or health of the student.


Illinois Compulsory School Attendance Law

  • The Illinois Compulsory School Attendance Law (Article 26 of the Illinois School Code) holds parents responsible for the enrollment and regular school attendance of children between the ages of seven and seventeen. Section 26-13 of the Code requires school districts to adopt absenteeism and truancy policies identifying appropriate supportive services and available resources for truants and chronic truants. These policies must be in accordance with Rules and Regulations as established by the State Board of Education which require at least these three elements:
  • Definition of Valid Cause
  • Description of Diagnostic Procedures
  • Identification of Support Services

Section 26-12 of the School Code stipulates that no punitive action, including school suspensions, expulsions and court action, is to be taken against chronic truants for such truancy unless available supportive services have been provided, or at least offered, to the student.

truancy intervention at the school level
Truancy Intervention at the School Level

Underlying Causes of Truant Behavior

  • Family Factors
  • Economic Influences
  • School Factors
  • Student Variables
family issues
Family Issues
  • Inappropriate attitudes towards education
  • Lack of guidance or parental supervision
  • Drug or alcohol abuse in the home
  • Domestic Violence
  • Lack of awareness of attendance policies
suggested interventions
Suggested Interventions
  • Attendance Policy
  • Provide parents with information regarding parent education classes
  • Conduct parent workshops to educate parents regarding their legal obligation
  • Make clear to the parents that they have the legal responsibility to compulsory education
economic influences
Economic Influences
  • Employed students
  • Homeless youth
  • Single parent homes
  • Parents with multiple jobs
  • Seasonal employment out of the country
  • Transportation
  • Child care
suggested interventions1
Suggested Interventions
  • Consider alternative schedules (high school) for working students
  • Utilize services of Homeless Education Program liaison to assist homeless families in obtaining all financial, social and medical assistance
  • Encourage student participation in organized educational, recreational and social activities in the community
school factors
School Factors
  • Perception of the student in relationship to belonging to his\her group
  • Size of school (affecting feeling disassociation\alienation)
  • Attitudes and relations among students, teachers and administrators
  • Class schedules
  • Absence of rules and\or inconsistent or inappropriate enforcement of rules and procedures within school
suggested interventions2
Suggested Interventions
  • Establish and encourage in-school and out of school tutoring and mentoring programs
  • Make use of alternatives for in-school suspension and out of school suspensions
  • Utilize community-based collaborative network of institutions, organizations and agencies that could offer a continuum of services for chronic truants and their families
  • Link student participation with community organizations to community service credits.
student issues
Student Issues
  • Academic problems
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Social, emotional or health problems
  • Lack of understanding of attendance laws
  • Mental health issues
  • Physical health problems
suggested interventions3
Suggested Interventions
  • Develop attendance workshops for truant students
  • Assign an individual to work with student and\or student’s family
  • Provide students with support such as tutoring and mentoring services
  • Make referrals for social service counseling
developing and implementing an effective intervention plan
Developing and Implementing an Effective Intervention Plan
  • Identify the Reason for the Truant Behavior
  • Develop a Written Intervention Plan (see Student Attendance Intervention Plan handout)
  • School Refusal Scale
things to consider
Things to consider
  • Determine why child is missing school
  • Background Information
  • Meet with child
  • Schedule a parent conference
  • Home Visit
consider the following
Consider the following:
  • Has the child been tested to ensure appropriate placement in school?
  • Has the child been diagnosed with any type of mental illness that could be contributing to the truant behavior?
  • Does the child have a drug or alcohol problem?
  • Has the child been diagnosed with any type of illness that could be a contributing factor?
  • Has there been any recent stressful events in the child’s life?
  • Does the child have a problem with a particular class or teacher?
  • Is the child being bullied by other students at school?
  • Is there a transportation problem contributing to the truancy?
  • Is the child caring for younger siblings?
  • Do the parents have a substance abuse problem?
  • Are the parents gainfully employed and able to provide the basic necessities for the family?
referral to the regional office of education
Referral to the Regional Office of Education
  • Truant Referral Data Sheet
  • Attendance records for previous and current year
  • All interventions
  • Form complete

If excessive truancy continues after supportive services have been provided, or offered but refused, a student is to be referred to the Regional Office of Education upon being absent without valid cause for 10% of the previous 180 regular attendance days (chronic truant).

action by the regional office of education
Action by the Regional Office of Education
  • Written Contact from ROE
  • Monitor attendance
  • Follow up written contact from ROE
  • Hearing
  • Truant Minor In Need OfSupervision – Students
  • Educational Neglect-Parents\Guardians
  • Alexian Brothers School Refusal Program
      • 800-432-5005
  • Northwest Community School Refusal
      • 847-618-4083
  • Linden Oaks Anxiety\School Refusal
      • 630-646-8030
  • NCO Youth and Family
      • 630-961-2992
  • Wheaton Youth Outreach
      • 630-682-1910
  • Northeast DuPage Family and Youth
      • 630-693-7934
example 1
Example #1
  • 7th
  • Lives with mom
  • Parents divorced Dad lives about an hour away
  • 10 Unexcused absences this year so far
  • Prior year(s) at a different school and had 24 absences
  • Interventions to date:
  • Meetings with parent
  • Meeting with student
  • 10 attempted calls to parent, no return call
example 2
Example #2
  • Freshman
  • Lives with mom
  • Parents divorced no contact with dad
  • 15 excused absences
  • 5 unexcused absences
  • Mom calls daughter in sick , mom says that she has gastrointestinal issues
  • School staff have seen her in neighborhood after school and does not appear sick
  • Interventions to date:
  • Calls to mom
  • Conference with mom, she indicates that her daughter is having medical issues
  • Meeting with student, student says that she wants to go to school but feels sick

Truancy is a widespread problem facing communities today. Consider the following facts:Youth who are truant greatly increase their risk for dropping out of school. And high-school dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, on welfare, or to end up in prison than students who graduate from high school or college.    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Education



“Truancy may be the beginning of a lifetime of problems for students who routinely skip school.”-Office of Juvenile Justice

“The most important message to communicate to the truant student is that someone cares whether he or she is in school and is experiencing some degree of success. In a real sense, the truant is a child asking for help, seeking to belong and be connected to an inviting, stable and nurturing world. With a little effort on our parts, the school can be such a world.”-William Capes Former Administrator


The DuPage Regional Office of Education is here to help. If you need suggestions or intervention strategies feel free to contact our office.

John A. Glimco, Assistant Regional Superintendent


Kathleen Meyers, Behavior Interventionist