Truancy Intervention Team
The focus of PACT is to aid students and their families in re-establishing regular attendance, normal school habits, and academic success. Students with attendance problems are eligible for participation in the Partners Against Chronic Truancy Program. Members of the PACT team include all key stakeholders in the area and have primary responsibilities for servicing the youth in the region. The collaborative efforts between the ROE, local school districts, the alternative school administration, and government and social service agencies have a historical pattern that is both strong and significant, which has led to many past student successes. Each member of the PACT Team knows community support and collaboration is the key to a student’s academic, social, emotional, and personal successes. With that in mind, the group developed a comprehensive approach that will ensure students have more equitable access to education by creating optional education opportunities as well as truancy prevention and intervention services.
If attendance does not improve following intervention services provided first by the school and subsequently the PACT Team, the student may be subject to truancy proceedings initiated by the Regional Office of Education. These proceedings can include referral to the court system.
What is chronic truancy?
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.
Truancy at a Glance
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 when determining if a student is considered chronically truant.
What to Expect if your Child is in Truancy
Once a student has been identified by school personnel as truant by demonstrating repeated unexcused absences and failing to respond to local intervention efforts (home visits, counselor conferences, parent communication, etc.) the school district will complete the Truancy Referral Form and submit to the Regional Office of Education #21 PACT Team.
The school MUST send the required data (attendance, interventions, credits, and other relevant information).
The ROE 21 Truancy Interventionist will generate a truancy letter and send it to the school and family.