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Truancy


Truancy Committee

 

Steve Snodgrass, Chair

331-4700

Ralston Public Schools

 

 

NEWS!   The MCAC Truancy Committee has now been joined into a Metro-wide area group called the School-Based Attendance Coalition.  The Coalition is co-chaired by Treva Haugaard, Executive Director of the Greater Omaha Attendance and Learning Services (GOALS) program and Melissa Mayo, Program and Evaluation Director of the Latino Center of the Midlands.  


Participation in the SBAC does not require MCAC membership.  Any professional, parent, or concerned citizen with an interest or ideas on how to improve school attendance is welcome to join in the conversation.  The SBAC meets approximately monthly during the school year.  Partners who join the roster receive meeting reminders and parking passes (if necessary) prior to meetings - and you will be invited to join in the dynamic conversation.


The Mission of the Coalition:  To improve school attendance through collective impact in the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area.


What is Collective Impact?

The five conditions of collective impact, which are a constant thread in all efforts made by The Coalition, are:

    1.  A common agenda

    2.  Shared measurement

    3.  Mutually reinforcing activities

    4.  Continuous communication

    5.  Backbone support


The GOALS of the Coalition are:


                INDIVIDUAL


1.  Identifying and addressing underlying causes of absenteeism in order to increase engagement and connectedness between student, family, school and community.  


                SOCIAL


2.  Mapping disparate and evolving services and programs to encourage ongoing sharing of information and maximization of resources.


                CULTURAL


3.  Focusing on prevention efforts through exploration of current and new emerging practices that match the unique needs of our community.  


                BEHAVIORAL


4.  Utilizing data and research to deepen understanding of effective practices, programs and policies aimed at improving student attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism.      

 



HISTORY:  


Take a look at where we came from by following the links below to download documents created by each of 4 subcommittees that started off the MCAC Truancy Task Force.  Each subcommittee focused on different aspects this complex issue which are identical to the same above goals established by The Coalition.

 

Primary Prevention: Cultural strategies - to support regular school attendance, building and community wide prevention efforts, public awareness

 

Secondary Prevention: Individual/Family strategies - for schools and agencies, determining root causes of chronic absenteeism and appropriate assessment and interventions.

 

Pre-Court Intervention: Behavioral strategies - uniform reporting procedures and interventions, truancy patterns, case planning.

 

Justice Intervention: Social strategies – multisystem strategies, procedures, pilot programs for cases in the juvenile justice system.

 

Preliminary Model Program:  A short powerpoint summarizing development of current school attendance initiatives


Please contact the committee chair to become involved!

 

Making Attendance a Priority – Steering and Subcommittee Overview and Reporting Update

 

Truancy and Excessive Absenteeism:  A Best Practices Manual for Schools

 

Excerpts from the Manual:

 

4 Quadrant Model:  Causes and Contributors

 

4 Quadrant Model:  Interventions for Schools

 

Attendance Intervention Record

 

Top 10 Reasons, a bi-fold flyer for schools

 

Intervention submission form

 

Nebraska Flow Chart

 

Dr Christopher Kearney, PhD School Refusal Training Materials

 

October 13, 2008 Community-wide training

 

School Refusal Assessment Scale (SRAS)- Revised, Child Version

 

School Refusal Assessment Scale (SRAS) – Revised, Parent Version

 

Dr. KearneyÕs October 13 Powerpoint

 

MCAC Handouts to facilitate attendance discussion

 

School Engagement Strategies gathered from participants (excel)

 

School Engagement Strategies gathered from participants (pdf format)

 

February 9, 2009 Community-wide training

 

Dr. KearneyÕs February 9 Powerpoint

 

Sample graph of SRAS results (excel spreadsheet and embedded graph)

 

 

History

 

In September, 1999 MCAC created an additional committee, a Truancy Task Force, to examine the need for understanding and working with issues of excessive school absenteeism and truancy. With involvement from the Douglas County Attorney – Juvenile Division, School Social Workers, Community Agencies and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Truancy Committee researched and published a best practices manual for schools.  In 2001 the manual was distributed to school Principals in all public and parochial schools in Douglas and Sarpy County.

 

With a recent membership total of over 60 representatives from Douglas and Sarpy Juvenile Court and County Attorney Offices, School Districts, HHS, Juvenile Probation, Omaha Police Department, Juvenile Assessment Center, University of Nebraska Omaha, the City of Omaha Mayor's Office and many community service agencies, we are poised to become a model of best practices and innovation in the area of truancy and school refusal.


Work performed by the MCAC Truancy Committee has led to changes in legislation, collaborative problem solving efforts, and additional resources in the community for families.  With these collaborative efforts in place, MCAC remains available as a forum and source of advocacy in the area of excessive absenteeism as it related to child protection and successful educational outcomes.




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