The Truancy Intervention program supports school districts in Greene County by actualizing the requirements of House Bill 410 (HB410) with a focus on reducing barriers to school attendance and diverting youth and families away from court involvement.
WHAT IS HOUSE BILL 410?
HB410 is a bill that was put into place in 2018. It changed the way schools looked at and responded to absences in schools. For example, calculating absences changed from adding up missed days, to racking each hour missed from school. Additionally, each of these hours are placed into three categories to help schools identify types of absences:
1) Medically Excused - any absence that is accompanied by a note from a medical provider is categorized as medically excused and does not count against attendance.
2) Excessive Absences - this category includes every hour out of school for any reason, except medically excused.
3) Habitual Absences - these absences are not accounted for by a parent note, medical note or approved vacation form.
Another big part of HB410 was the introduction of the Attendance Intervention Plan (AIP) process for Habitual Absences. This gives students and families an opportunity to connect with community supports to improve attendance before the school is able to send the referral to the juvenile court.
The Truancy Intervention Program serves as a function of the Greene County Juvenile Court Diversion Program. The Truancy Interventionist works with area school districts, the Greene County Educational Services Center and various social service agencies to address barriers to school truancy. Students and families may be referred to the Truancy Program after the student has been defined as habitually truant according to HB410. A student is considered habitually truant if they missed:
- Thirty (3) unexcused hours in a row - roughly five (5) consecutive school days.
- Forty-two (42) unexcused hours in a month - around seven (7) days in a month.
- Seventy-two (72) unexcused hours in a year.
Mediation - The Truancy Intervention Program offers Truancy Mediation to help schools and families create supportive Attendance Intervention Plans (AIP) that can reduce the barriers affecting attendance. Schools and families can engage in mediation at various points in the truancy process as a way to divert youth and families away from court involvement.
Preparing Our Kids for Success - there is brief instruction for parents of students with truancy issues to give parents additional tools to motivate students and strengthen school-parent communication.
Parenting the Love and Logic Way - The 6-week class meets in person one day a week. This program gives parents practical skills that can be used immediately. Parents that are struggling with other behaviors in additional to truancy could benefit from attending this class.
Attendance and Intervention Plan (AIP) - Truancy mediation provides an unbiased, third party support. School and families can take part in Truancy Mediation as a way to develop a supportive and agreed upon AIP to be put in place at the school level for the next 60 days. Schools or families have the ability to request mediation with the Truancy Program once an AIP has been scheduled as a way to facilitate the process.
Alterative to Adjudication Mediation - If the AIP has been determined unsuccessful and the school has sent a Diversion referral to the Court, a youth identified as low-risk may be considered for Truancy Mediation to re-evaluate the AIP.
STEP 1: The truancy process begins once a student has been identified as habitually truant. At that point, the school will reach out to the parent/guardian and invite them to participate in a meeting with the school's Absence Intervention Team. This team includes: the parent, the student (middle and high school), a school representative and a school staff member that has a relationship with the student. At the meeting, a plan will be developed that identifies barriers to attendance and supports to address those barriers. The school, student and family have 60 days to work this the plan.
STEP 2: If the plan is not maintained by the student or family, the school has the option of sending a truancy referral to the Greene County Juvenile Court.
STEP 3: After the referral is received, and assessment and family meeting is set up with the family to identify areas of risk and need for the student. Based on the assessment results, students and families can be referred to various programs and services such as:
- Community Supports
- Short-Term Diversion
- Truancy Diversion
- Creation of an Individualized Service Plan
STEP 4: Failure to work with Truancy Intervention staff could result in the Truancy Referral being considered for a hearing in formal court.
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