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Structuring a Detailed School Plan for Absenteeism, Truancy, and Dropout Prevention

Structuring a Detailed School Plan for Absenteeism, Truancy, and Dropout Prevention

This book is a practical guide for planning strategies to address student absenteeism. It provides administrators, teachers, outreach workers, social workers, attendance specialists, clerks, and other professionals with information and potential planning solutions for dealing with students struggling with chronic absenteeism and their parents/guardians. This book will help schools create a campus plan to address the problem efficiently and appropriately.

The focus of this guide is providing recommendations to alternative, elementary, middle, and high school staff for structuring a detailed plan to manage school absenteeism. To be effective, schools must have a clear goal, complete with names, responsibilities, time frames, proof of completion, and resources. Early intervention is the key to identifying truant students and getting results, and this guidebook provides the structure for staff to implement such a plan and to initiate early intervention.

Many school staff who are assigned the responsibility of tracking students’ attendance data aren’t trained adequately. They lack knowledge of local school board policies and state attendance laws, and they don’t know how to properly use of data and withdrawal codes, to print attendance reports, to contact parents, to set up meetings, or to seek legal intervention. Many of them don’t have a user-friendly resource attendance manual that is ready for campus staff who need technical support. Many lack a campus plan with a checklist available for school staff about attendance responsibilities, time frames, resources required, and evidence of completion. These procedures must be in place in order to identify truant students and to provide early intervention quickly.

I wrote this practical guidebook for attendance professionals new to truancy, tenure professionals, clerks, outreach workers, social workers, and anyone else who works with students with excessive absences. It’s a straightforward guide for preparing anyone to deal with truant students and their families. In Part I, I discuss the causes of truancy, and in Part II, I provide detailed strategies for managing school attendance. You can use this information for a presentation for training attendance professionals, school staff members new to truancy, or district staff members responsible for students. In addition, you can use it as an annual refresher workshop. In short, it can help anyone trying to reduce the dropout rate and increase attendance in schools.

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