Project Stay In: Truancy Intervention Program
The goal of Project Stay In Truancy Intervention Program is to provide support to schools as the schools provide K-12 students early assessment, intervention, and remediation of the factors related to Chronic Truancy. Truancy is being absent without a valid cause. Chronic Truant is any student who is absent from school without valid cause for 5% of the previous 180 school days.
The focus of Project Stay In is to aid students and their families in re-establishing regular attendance, normal school habits, and academic success.
If attendance does not improve following intervention services provided first by the school and subsequently our staff, the student may be subject to truancy proceedings initiated by the Regional Office of Education. These proceedings can include referral to the court system.
Students with attendance problems are eligible for participation in the Project Stay In Program. These students may be referred to the ROE26’s Project Stay In program by the school district.
Truancy is defined as absent without a valid cause. A student’s school will mark a student absent unexcused when the student is absent without a valid cause. Valid causes for absences can include: illness, death of an immediate family member, doctor/dentist/counseling appointment, religious need, and more. See your school’s handbook for local policy. Schools typically allow parents to “call in” these types of absences. When a student exceeds the school’s limit for excused absences, or when a student misses school without a valid cause, the school may determine that an absence is unexcused. Unexcused absences are taken into consideration while determining if a student is considered chronically truant.
Truancy codes remain in place during permanent or temporary e-learning and remote learning situations. A school day in Illinois is 5 hours. Students who are enrolled in e-learning or remote programs are required to “attend” school each day that the school designates as a school day. Attendance during these days may be virtual, however, students are expected to be engaged and completing course assignments.
In the state of Illinois, a Chronic Truant is any student subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause for 5% of the previous 180 school days. A school year has approximately 180 days. 5% of the school year is 9 days. A student’s truancy may be contained to one school year or fall over a period of more than one school year. An example of this would be a fifth grader who shows 4 unexcused absences during the fourth quarter of fifth grade, and as a sixth grader has 5 unexcused absences in the first semester. This student would be chronically truant, as the student missed 9 days/unexcused over a period of 180 school days.
Work with your child to help him/her understand the importance of education. Remove any barriers that are keeping your child from attending school regularly.
The school district will work with a student and family who is experiencing truancy.
- Communication with your child’s school is very important. You are encouraged to reach out to your child’s school to discuss your child’s truancy.
- The school will work with you to remove barriers to attendance. A family can expect to hear from the school through letters, phone calls, meetings and/or home visits.
- Schools may also ask the student to meet with a counselor, social worker or other student support personnel.
- A parent can set up a meeting with the school or the school may contact the family to help break down any barriers that may interfere with school attendance.
Your child’s school may refer your child to ROE’s Project Stay-In Truancy Intervention Program.
- Continue to work with your child to develop an understanding of the importance of education. Continue to work to remove barriers to school attendance.
- You will continue to work with your child’s school to help your child attend school regularly.
- A truancy case worker will be in contact with you through letters, email, and phone calls.
A truancy hearing will take place at the Regional Office of Education #26 level. Your child will be ordered to attend regularly with no further unexcused absences.
- Should truancy continue a truancy complaint will be filed with the county in which you live.
- A judge will make decisions regarding the child’s education and welfare.
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