A Study of Practices Relating to Combating Truancy
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This case study examines which methods or programs are most effective in reducing truancy and chronic absenteeism rates in schools across Wisconsin. This study explores factors that may lead a child to become truant and discusses methods and programs that schools use to deter students from becoming truant. It is hypothesized that no one program will uniformly solve the truancy issue, but that poorer, ethnically diverse, urban schools will have more success with decreasing truancy by introducing anti-truancy programs that involve the community, whereas more affluent, rural schools will use programs and policies that sanction parents or force parents to take part in the responsibility of their child's actions. School officials that deal with truancy issues were interviewed by way of an emailed survey to ascertain whether the schools currently had issues with truancy and whether or not they have effective anti-truancy policies in place. The interviewed school officials were asked to describe in detail their current methods and programs that deal with truancy. They were also asked what were the common excuses that students gave as to why they were absent. Results showed that there were some commonalities between the interviewed schools both in the areas of truant excuses and in methods of dealing with truancy. Results also revealed that the schools' current methods were, in fact, lowering truancy rates. One school's truancy rate went from over 30% to 26%, and the other went from 23% to 21.5%, but that the data was not entirely quantifiable at this time. In addition, a final commonality between the schools regarding truancy was that in both schools interviewed, the individuals running the programs were both relatively new to the district.