Humphrey School of Public Affairs Capstone Synopsis

Humphrey School of
Public Affairs Capstone
Truancy intervention
 The statutory responsibility for intervention rests within
the local county authority.
 Most Counties do not have access to current attendance
information and are reliant on school personnel to inform
on students absenteeism.
 District level cooperation is high, actual building to
building interaction is inconsistent due to staffing and
 Initial intervention process is social services in nature
 Interventions on county reported students are funded
through local tax payers. No state funding for truancy
Trunancy Intervention
 15 Day Drop students
 At 15 consecutive days of unexcused absences, per
statute, schools will un-enroll the student. Currently
there is no ability to track the outcomes of these
students either at the school level or the State level
 State MDE data on this population is typically a year
behind. Currently State looking at tracking options
Truancy power vs. interest
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 Unenrollment due to 15-day policy
State of
students) students)
students) students)
Per MDE figures through Capestone report
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 Unenrollment due to 15-day policy
 Unenrollment due to 15-days of consecutive absences is a statewide
problem that merits a statewide solution.
 Within Hennepin County, some school districts (i.e. Brooklyn Center
and Minneapolis) have the highest unenrollment rates, suggesting that
a proactive and targeted solution may be important in these districts.
 The data from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) does
not tell us if the student re-enrolled elsewhere.
 The inability of MDE to query the requested data and these caveats to
the data confirm that students are not being consistently tracked by
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 Current policies and truancy interventions are being
inconsistently applied throughout Minnesota
Some schools are not reporting to counties, some schools are
handling truancy matters within the building, and counties
are often not involved until truancy problems are far
Truancy interventions must be strengthened by mandating
that counties and school districts collaborate to adopt formal
intervention plans that clarify and create written policies.
 These plans would cover intervention programs for students
currently enrolled as well as students who have been dropped
due to the 15-day drop rule.
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 Unenrollment due to 15-day policy
 Formal plans would be approved by MDE
An oversight structure at MDE would need to be created to
facilitate the approval of the intervention plans developed in
each county
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 Research Findings and Conclusions
 Unenrollment due to the 15-day drop policy is as much a
statewide issue as it is a Hennepin County issue.
 State statues regarding truancy allow for local
interpretation and management of truancy prevention
 Truancy intervention programs are inconsistently
administered across the state. Coordination between
schools, districts, and counties vary widely, affecting the
timeliness, comprehensiveness, and effectiveness of the
intervention programs.
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 Research Findings and Conclusions
Per Humphrey students interviews with school staff:
 School officials are calling for an increase in resources for
truancy intervention program and clearer guidance on
absentee reporting guidelines.
 Students who are unenrolled after 15 days are not easily
tracked and there are no consistent measures in place to
provide them social services and encourage their reenrollment.
 The State of Minnesota Department of Education data system
does not facilitate the sharing of student enrollment status
between schools or schools and counties.
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 Research Findings and Conclusions
 Reporting practices are inconsistently applied, including
proper coding for students who have been unenrolled or
 The process of requesting records from students’ prior
schools is not a reliable method to track students reenrollment.
 The new MARSS 61 is in the pilot stage and allows for
tracking the following year from MDE
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 Recommendations
 Mandate that schools designate an attendance officer
Change current statutory language from “may hire” to “shall designate”.
 Mandate that school districts collaborate to adopt
intervention plans that clarify and create written
policies and are approved at the State level
Maintain local control while increasing awareness of consistency of programs that serve
students exhibiting truant behavior, and, where resources allow, the students who have been
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 Recommendations
 Create oversight structure within the Minnesota
Department of Education for approval of intervention
 Improve data management and sharing via MARSS
Encourage the State to create a better data tracking system with more current information so as to track students
who drop out

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