District of Columbia - Chronic Absenteeism Early Warning Systems: Programs and Services (S/D)

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 

State law encourages or requires districts to address truancy or chronic absenteeism through the provision of comprehensive student support services.

D.C. Code 38–241. Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program.

(a)  Subject to the availability of appropriations, the District of Columbia Board of Education, or its successor, and the District of Columbia Public Schools shall offer a Truancy and Dropout Prevention Program for students who are enrolled in the District of Columbia Public Schools system. The programs should be implemented on a full-time basis, work with local schools and parents, and provide resources that will help reduce absences and unexcused absences, and reduce dropout and increase retention rates.
(b)  The program shall develop a supportive relationship with the Metropolitan Police Department.
(c)  The program shall be available for students who are enrolled in grades K-12 and for students who are enrolled in ungraded classes in elementary, middle or junior high, and high schools.

  • (d)  Notwithstanding any other law, nothing in this section shall be construed to create an entitlement to a truancy or dropout prevention program for any student.

D.C. Code 38–2602. Responsibilities.

(b) The OSSE shall:

  • (19) By August 1, 2013, create a truancy prevention resource guide for parents and legal guardians who have children who attend a District public school, which shall be updated and made available upon request and, at minimum, include:
    • (A) An explanation of the District’s laws and regulations related to absenteeism and truancy;
    • (B) Information on:
      • (i) What a parent or legal guardian can do to prevent truancy;
      • (ii) The common causes of truancy; and
      • (iii) Common consequences of truancy;
    • (C) A comprehensive list of resources that are available to a parent or legal guardian, and the student, that address the common causes of truancy and the prevention of it, such as:
      • (i) Hotlines that provide assistance to parents, legal guardians, and youth;
      • (ii) Counseling for the parent (or legal guardian) or the youth, or both;
      • (iii) Parenting classes;
      • (iv) Parent-support groups;
      • (v) Family psycho-education programs;
      • (vi) Parent-resource libraries;
      • (vii) Risk prevention education;
      • (viii) Neighborhood family support organizations and collaboratives that provide assistance to families experiencing hardship;
      • (ix) Behavioral health resources and programs in schools;
      • (x) The Behavioral Health Ombudsman Program; and
      • (xi) The resources at each public school for at-risk students and their parents or legal guardians;
Policy Links: