Attendance Support with Home Liaisons
What is a Home Liaison?
- They are professional social workers placed in each building to address attendance issues along with the staff and provide resources within the community.
- The Home Liaisons address the attendance issues in the district. They are assigned to each school to assist staff and parents on the issues of excessive absenteeism, tardiness, and truancy.
- The goal is to assess reasons why a child is inconsistent in attendance and find solutions to address the issue so the student can be successful in the future.
- The district is held accountable by State law to educate the community on how missing school impacts children, as well as the whole community.
Why was the Attendance Program started?
- The program was implemented by the Parma City School District as a result of the truancy law written by Senator Bob Spada and enacted in 2000. The law specifies attendance requirements for all schools in the State of Ohio and mandates the district to take steps before filing with either the courts or the county children services.
- The truancy law also holds parents and students accountable for not attending school regularly.
- Research shows that excessive absenteeism in the younger grades leads to truancy, and eventually dropout in the secondary levels.
What will the staff do?
- Contact the school, parents or students to identify the factors contributing to attendance inconsistency and help find solutions to the problem.
- File education neglect referrals to Department of Children and Family Services or truancy with Juvenile Court.
What does the school need to do?
- Be aware of what students in your building/class have a history of excessive absenteeism/tardies/truancy.
- Steps to be taken and documented: Letters sent to the homes to inform parents, phone calls from school personnel, mediations or conferences conducted, home visits from the home liaison staff.
- Continue to educate parents on the importance of consistent attendance.
- The school will send letters to family after 5, 10, 15, and 20 days absences. These letters are sent to every student that reaches those milestones, even if the absences have been excused. These letters are meant to update the families on their child's attendance.
What does the parent need to know?
- Always contact your school when your child is absent. Refer to the Student Handbook for the district attendance policy. Know what time school starts.
- Proper medical documentation should be submitted for your child's record if they have an illness.
- Support education by monitoring and discouraging excessive absences.
- Update your child's teacher of changes that may be impacting attendance.
Consequences of Truancy and Educational Neglect
- Filing of education neglect referrals to Department of Children and Family Services
- Truancy filings with Juvenile Court, which will involve the family with Pro Kids.
- At the discretion of the school administrator: detentions, Saturday School, In-School Suspensions, Out-of-School Suspensions, and Expulsion.
There are only 178 days to the school year.
If a child misses 20 days a year from Kindergarten to 8th grade they have missed a year of schooling!