After years of study, the research is clear: (1) The impact of truancy on students, schools, communities and society is profound and (2) It is critical to take a multi-faceted approach to prevent and reduce truancy. This webinar featured positive and collaborative approaches to addressing truancy. Specifically, it showcased characteristics of effective truancy prevention and intervention programs that have encouraged students to attend school consistently and take increased ownership in their education.
In this third Supportive School Discipline Webinar Series event, Cecelia Leong, Associate Director of Attendance Works began by discussing data collection, attendance research and how schools and the community, especially the court, can become effective allies in preventing and addressing truancy. Justice Bobbe Bridge, former Washington Supreme Court Justice and CEO of the Center for Children and Youth Justice, and Leila Curtis of the King County’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Models for Change Truancy Project Coordinator, then shared a model truancy reduction program that led to systemic truancy reform in King County and the State of Washington. Next, Larry Bush, Principal of Spokane Valley High School, and Martin Kolodrub, Truancy Specialist Spokane County Office of Juvenile Justice described Spokane County’s Community Truancy Boards which address truant behaviors among students across all grade levels in local school districts. And, finally, Kathryn Meyer, Staff Attorney for the Center for Children’s Advocacy, presented on recent status offender reform laws passed in Connecticut and provide first-hand accounts of Connecticut’s efforts to address truant behavior while serving as an education attorney and advocate.