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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
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
Underlying Causes of Truant Behavior
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).
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
THE FACT IS. . .
“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