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Column: District 518 aims to reduce truancy

By Tony Hastings, District 518 WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington school district in collaboration with the Nobles County Attorney, Community Services and Community Corrections Office are introducing the "Stay and Succeed Program." The Stay and Succe...

By Tony Hastings, District 518

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington school district in collaboration with the Nobles County Attorney, Community Services and Community Corrections Office are introducing the “Stay and Succeed Program.”   The Stay and Succeed program is aimed at reducing the number of students who are truant -- or, in other words, absent without an accepted excuse -- at the middle school, high school and Area Learning Center.  

Across the state and across the nation, truancy has become an increasing problem. According to a recent Star Tribune report, “Students chronically absent from school miss so much class time that it puts them at risk academically.”  The Stay and Succeed Program mission is to improve students’ daily attendance and assist with early intervention providing education and support services to school-age youths and their families.

If a student misses school without an excuse, the District Attendance Officer will meet with the student and communicate with the family to determine and report the cause of the absence. If a student accumulates three unexcused absences, the school will hold an attendance meeting with the student, parent(s), probation and community services to discuss the reasons for the absences and possible solutions to prevent further absences.

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The process repeats itself when a student has reached five unexcused absences, with additional agency support. At this meeting, the Nobles County Attorney will discuss with the student and their family the importance of and the legality of being in school. There will also be conversation that if the absences continue to seven unexcused absences, a possible truancy petition would be filed that would result in the student as well and their parents going to court to explain their situation to the judge.

Our hope is that the implementation of the Stay and Succeed Program will educate both students and their parents to the importance of being in school and how their attendance really does lead to student success. If you have a student who is currently enrolled in ISD 518 and you know that they will not be in school, please give that school a call.  (High School 376-6121)  (Middle School 376-4174) (Area Learning Center 372-1322)

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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