York County Truancy Prevention Presentation

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York County Truancy Prevention Presentation Powered By Docstoc
					  Beganunder the leadership of the Honorable
  Judge John C. Uhler, in 2000

  Purpose:
          the systems issues that negatively impact
    Review
   on the truant population and to create county-
   wide protocol for addressing these concerns.
  2009: Judge Uhler promotes to York County
   Bar Foundation’s Public Service committee
  2009/10: United Way, Women’s Giving Circle
   & Bar Foundation members strategically plan
  2010: United Way/YorkCount’s Stay in School
   Report provides justification for TPI Director
    HireDirector with funds from: York County Bar
    Foundation (plus office space); Women’s Giving
    Circle; Donley Foundation; Rehmeyer Trust
  2010: Truancy Summit/Strategic Planning
  2011: United Way absorbs TPI as a program
  Toreduce the truant population of York
  County by establishing a protocol for
  improved communication and collaboration,
  instituting a consistent response to this issue,
  and initiating interventions.

      This collaboration applies to the interaction
       between families, schools, agencies, service
       providers and the court.
  nmonitoring and
 documenting the frequency
 and type of absences, the
 school district will meet the
 following requirements
 within the outlined time
 a.Prior to the first written
 notice being sent, the school
 district will have contact with
 the parent via telephone,
 conference, and/or home visit.

 b. No later than five days
 following the return from an
 absence of any type, a student
 must present an appropriate
 written excuse.
  c. Within eight days of the student being
  lawfully absent, the district will send a
  written notice documenting the absence with
  the stipulation that if the pattern continues,
  the child will be required to bring the York
  County doctor’s excuse with them upon
  return to school for any future absences.

  d.  After twelve days of absence, tardies,
  and unlawful early dismissals, the school
  district will send written notice to the parent
  that the child is required to bring a doctor’s
  note back to school with them for all
 e.    All students absent for three or
  more consecutive days are required to
  have a doctor’s excuse upon return.

 f.  Prior to the fourth unlawful absence,
  the school will set up a meeting with the
  student and family to create a Truancy
  Elimination Plan. If the school does not
  hear from the parents within two weeks
  regarding the scheduling of a meeting,
  the school will create a TEP with student.
  School will send the TEP to the parents
  for their review and to sign.
    York County School District Truancy Elimination Plan

    Name of School: ______________________________________
    Date:
    Student’s Name:
    D.O.B.: ___________________________
    Student’s Address:
    Special Needs:
    M or F: __________ Race: __________________
    Language barrier? If so, what language?________________
    Health Concerns:
    Child resides with: ____________________________________
    Relationship: ______________________
    Name/Address of Mother:               ____________
    Mother’s phone – Home_____ Work_______ Cell________
    Name/Address of Father:               _______________
    Father’s phone – Home_______ Work_______ Cell_______
    Name and birth dates of other child(ren) in this family
     (state if living at home): ___________________________
     Parental explanation for truancy: __________________
    Student explanation for truancy: ________
    Dates phone calls made to parents:             ___________
    Dates of other meetings with parents:                  ____
    Days missed this year:___________.
         Excused: _______ Unlawful: ________, Suspensions: ________
    Official Notice date:               ______
    Doctor letter date(s): ___________________________
    Other letter(s) date(s):
    Citation(s) date(s):
    History of absences (totals)

    Grade: 1_____ 2_____ 3_____ 4_____ 5_____ 6_____ 7______
     8______ 9______ 10______ 11______ 12______

    Student’s strengths:

    Describe specific school problems: Behavior, academic, etc.

    Has child had evaluation, Psychological, education or other?
            Yes              No

    Date, type, reason for evaluation
    Goal: To increase school attendance/reduce drop-out for

Student Will:
   Go to bed earlier
  Wake up earlier
  Set 2nd alarm clock
  Lay out clothing evening prior
  Walk with a friend to school/get a ride
  Make teacher aware of bullying/other problems

Parent Will:
   Make sure child is in bed earlier
  Take child to doctor when they are ill
  Make school aware if having problems getting the child to go to school
  Bring child in to office when they are late
  Enforce consequences at home
  Make arrangements for child to get a ride

School Will:
   Be available to meet with all parties involved if changes need to be made
   Be open to family’s suggestions and answer questions
   Keep the family updated regarding the child’s attendance
    Consequences for Non-compliance
         Fines
         Failing Grades
         Possible referral to Children and Youth Services

    Benefits for Compliance
         Good Education
         Positive Social Interaction
         Good habits that will last into adulthood and create a
          successful future

     Date for follow up meeting:______________________

    This plan was created collaboratively to assist the
     student in improving attendance, to enlist the
     support of parent/guardian and to document the
     schools attempts to provide resources to promote
     student success.

    Student                                    Date_________________

    Parent/Guardian                            Date_________________

    School Official                            Date_________________

    Other                                      Date_________________

    Failure to comply with the truancy elimination plan by the student
     and/or family may result in outside agency involvement and possible
     court action.

    Copy to:

         Parent
         Cumulative File
         CYS
    Follow Up Meeting(s)
    Outcomes:
    1.
    2.
    3.

    Next Steps:
    1.
    2.
    3.

    Signatures

    Student                Date_________________

    Parent/Guardian        Date_________________

    School Official        Date_________________

    Other                  Date_________________
 g. Once four days of unexcused absences
 accumulate, the school district will
 process a first notice of unlawful absence
 sent via certified mail and regular mail.

 h. Any unlawful absences beyond the
 four days will result in a complaint being
 filed with the district justice with the
 complaints processed immediately after
 the occurrence, but no longer than five
 days following the absence.
 When receiving doctor’s
excuses, school district
personnel will ensure the
  a.  An acceptable excuse is written on official
  office stationery and includes specific reason for
  the absence, target date for return to school,
  and the physician’s signature

  b.  If an acceptable written doctor’s excuse
  is not received, school personnel will contact
  the doctor’s office manager to determine if
  there was a documented visit for treatment.

  c.  Communicate through its representative
  to the School Safety and Attendance
  Committee the names of physicians not
  adhering to the established protocol.
 Ineliminating the clean
 slate practice, school
 district personnel will:
   Consider unlawful absences that
 a.
 have occurred in preceding years in
 calculating the number of unlawful
 days towards the citation process.

 b. Communicate attendance history
 to other school buildings and districts
 in the event of a move by forwarding a
 completed Student Attendance History
 Informationrelated to the truancy
 complaint will include the number of
 the second offense citation being

 School   district personnel will:
 a. Provide the district justice with a
 copy of the Attendance Hearing Checklist
 and provide as many materials referred to
 on this document as possible

 b.  School districts will attend the
 Magisterial District Court hearing with a
 list of resources to which the family and
 student can be referred in lieu of fine,
 assuming family or student successfully
 completes alternative disposition. Refer
 to for
 more information on what is available.
    Parent Name:
    Student Name:
    Student ID #:
    Hearing Date: July 20, 2010
    Time: 11:00 AM
            Copy of the Trial Notice(s)
            Copy of the Fine
            Student Attendance Portfolio
            Copies of Excuse Cards
            Date of First Notice Letter: _______________
            Copy of First Notice Letter
            Date of First Notice Reminder Letter: _______________
            Copy of First Notice Reminder Letter
            Date of Doctor’s Excuse Letter: _______________
            Copy of Doctor’s Excuse Letter
            Copy of Attendance Tracking Spreadsheet (respective student page)
            Copy of Handbook Signature Page
            Student Transcript
            Student Infraction List
            Copy of TEP (if previously completed)
             List of services/programs for the family/student for the Magisterial District Judge to
              consider, in lieu of fines if programs/services are completed. Please refer to
     for information on services, programs, contact information,
              times, dates and locations.
    Notes: (parental correspondence, pertinent details/information, etc.)

    Verdict:             Truant                  Not Truant               No Show
  chool  districts will utilize
 all internal and community
 options to address the
 truancy, including
 submitting a Truancy
 Elimination Plan to Children
 and Youth Services, prior to
 filing for dependency
 School districts will
 designate an individual
 responsible for recording
 the following Early
 Warning Indicators in
 third, sixth and ninth
 Number  of students in each respective
  grade with four or more unexcused
 Number of students in each respective
  grade with three or more office referrals
 Number of students in each respective
  grade with a 65% or lower in English
 Number of students in each respective
  grade with a 65% or lower in math
 (Any student who has just one of these
  indicators is at risk of dropping out)
 Serviceproviders whose
 services are used as
 alternatives to fine or
 other sanctions will
 provide data on (as
•  Whether student/family showed up
   to the program
•  Did the student/family complete the
•  Number of unexcused absences prior
   to the program
•  Number of unexcused absences two
   weeks after completion of the
•  Was the family referred to other
 Youth   Court Alliance
   William Penn – York City
      Funded by PCCD

      Start training students September 14

      Start YCA hearings November 9

   Two additional sites
      Funded by York County Human Services
    Youth Court Alliance is an alternative program for truant
     9th grade students who have the option of choosing Youth
     Court Alliance over a referral to the Magisterial District
    Many people are intimidated by what is often a confusing
     and overburdened court system. The Youth Court Alliance
     will make sure that all parties affected will be a part of
     the process.
    Dispositions can include community service, jury duty,
     oral/written apologies, essays, social action or personal
    Benefits include empowering our youth to take an active
     role in their own rehabilitation by offering them an
     opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions.
    The process also educates our youth about the court
     system, about consequences of their actions and how
     these actions affected others, especially their own family
     and our community.
The Process
    The truant student (youth) and their parent will receive an option letter
     from William Penn Senior High, stating they may choose Youth Court
     Alliance instead of a referral to the Magisterial District Court.
    If the youth and their parent choose Youth Court Alliance they will set up
     a meeting with the Intake Clerk to complete the intake process and set a
     date and time for their hearing.
    Proceedings will take place in Judge Haskell’s courtroom on half day
    Once the hearing is over the youth and parent must agree to dispositions
     given by members of the jury. The youth and their parent will then be
     given a period of time in which the dispositions must be completed.
    Once the youth and their parent complete their disposition, the case is
     closed and the truancy referral to the Magisterial District Court will be
    If the youth and their parent do not choose Youth Court Alliance, do not
     show up for their Youth Court Alliance hearing, or do not complete their
     disposition, the Magisterial District Court will proceed with the truancy
    Check & Connect is an intensive mentoring and intervention program that
     pairs mentors with truant students to keep the students engaged in their
     education. The mentors build trust with students, advocate on their
     behalf and coordinate services for the students and their families. The
     mentor works with a caseload of students and families for at least two
     years and follows them from school to school.
    Students with patterns of unlawful absences are referred to the program
     by their schools or magisterial district judges.
    The program in the 2011-2012 school year will expand to accept 7th- and
     8th-grade students at Hannah Penn Middle School. It was launched last
     school year for students in the Southwestern School District (grades 7, 8
     and 9), Northeastern School District (grades 7, 8 and 9) and at Smith
     Middle School (grades 7 and 8) in the School District of the City of York. In
     total, 183 students have participated.
    The program is operated by Pennsylvania Counseling Services with funding
     and support from the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families.
     The York County Truancy Prevention Initiative, a program of the United
     Way of York County, helps coordinate the service with schools, judges,
     service providers and others.
         Wal-Mart Foundation (two at York City High, one at York City alternative school)
         New funding source, Southern Poverty Law Center (will see)
 Check  &Connect is currently operating in
  the seventh, eighth and ninth (except for
  Smith Middle in York City) grades of three
  York County school districts.
  83%, 81.8% and 84% of Check and Connect
  students in Southwestern, Northeastern
  and York City (respectively) demonstrated
  a decrease in their rate of Unexcused
  Absences for this school year after
  participating in the Check & Connect
  74%,78.7% and 70% of Check and Connect
  students in Southwestern, Northeastern and
  York City (respectively) had 6 or less
  Unexcused Absences this year prior to
  participating in the program.
    This demonstrates that the York County Attendance
     Protocol, advocated and supported by the York
     County Truancy Task Force and the York County
     Truancy Prevention Initiative, is supporting the
     outcomes of the Check and Connect program.
    “It has been a pleasure working with York County
     because of its strict standard in referring students
     to the Check and Connect program at four
     unexcused absences, before the challenges
     preventing perfect attendance get too
     complicated.” Duane Miller, Vice President of
     Program Development, PA Counseling, Inc.
     Avg. Days Missed Before And After Check & Connect





 5                                                Avg # of Days Before C & C
                                                  Avg. # of Days After C & C




      NESD           SWSD        YCSD -Smith MS
Program Feedback from school, parents, youth & other partners
  "If it wasn't for my STEEDS teacher and you, no one would notice
   if I came to school. My mom wouldn't even notice."(8th grade
   male student)
  "Mrs. Welsh, I want to thank you for all your help this year. I
   really enjoyed the attendance class and appreciated the one on
   one time with my child. I have signed up for the class with my 2
   older children as well." (Mother of 8th grade male student)
  "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have considered STEEDS for my
   son but you helped me navigate all my options first and gave me
   your honest opinion on what might help my son." (Mother of 7th
   grade male student) Her son had a long history of truancy and
   CYS involvement over several years. The child had many deficits
   in learning because they would often move around to avoid CYS
   and fines. The proper placement has been helpful in getting him
   to come to school while filling the gaps in learning.
  “It is so nice to know that you care and take the time to text me
   in the evening just to see if I made Key Club.” (9th grade female
  “I told the police to call you because you are more like my mom
   and easier to reach. But don’t worry, I am not in trouble.” (9th
   grade male student)
  You are really helping these families and opening up other
   options to assist them with getting their child to
   school.” (District Magistrate)
             that youth who drop out may
  Recognizing
 want to re-engage in their education but may
 not know how
           in the York County Libraries, to assess
    Located
   and refer youth to the appropriate next steps to
   completing their high school diploma or GED
        These are less “centers” but “office-hour
    Have  responded to some funding proposals, in
     particular one for strategic planning
    Key is getting the trust and confidence of those in
     the community who have dropped out
 Business   Involvement – MENU/
 Website – “center”
  Resources (bullying)
  MDJ alternatives to fines
  BLOGs (good news)
  Twitter
  Staffing
  YCA expansion
  AmeriCorps involvement

  Protocol – audits
  Data (process versus progress)



Leigh Dalton
Director of the York County Truancy Prevention Initiative
United Way of York County
o: 717.771.3802
c: 717.881.1721
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Description: York County Truancy Prevention Presentation