State law encourages or requires districts to address truancy or chronic absenteeism through the provision of comprehensive student support services.
General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 10-198a. Policies and procedures concerning truants.
(a) For purposes of this section and sections 10-198c and 10-220, “truant” means a child age five to eighteen, inclusive, who is enrolled in a public or private school and has four unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten unexcused absences from school in any school year.
(b) Each local and regional board of education shall adopt and implement policies and procedures concerning truants who are enrolled in schools under the jurisdiction of such board of education. Such policies and procedures shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (1) The holding of a meeting with the parent of each child who is a truant, or other person having control of such child, and appropriate school personnel to review and evaluate the reasons for the child being a truant, provided such meeting shall be held not later than ten school days after the child’s fourth unexcused absence in a month or tenth unexcused absence in a school year, (2) coordinating services with and referrals of children to community agencies providing child and family services, (3) annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, notifying the parent or other person having control of each child enrolled in a grade from kindergarten to eight, inclusive, in the public schools in writing of the obligations of the parent or such other person pursuant to section 10-184, (4) annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, obtaining from the parent or other person having control of each child in a grade from kindergarten to eight, inclusive, a telephone number or other means of contacting such parent or such other person during the school day, (5) on or before August 15, 2018, the implementation of a truancy intervention model identified by the Department of Education pursuant to section 9 of this act for any school under its jurisdiction that has a disproportionately high rate of truancy, as determined by the Commissioner of Education, and (6) a system of monitoring individual unexcused absences of children in grades kindergarten to eight, inclusive, which shall provide that whenever a child enrolled in school in any such grade fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no indication has been received by school personnel that the child’s parent or other person having control of the child is aware of the pupil’s absence, a reasonable effort to notify, by telephone and by mail, the parent or such other person shall be made by school personnel or volunteers under the direction of school personnel. Any person who, in good faith, gives or fails to give notice pursuant to subdivision (6) of this subsection shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such notice or failure to give such notice.
General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 10-198c. Attendance review teams.
(b) (1) Each local and regional board of education that (A) has a district chronic absenteeism rate of ten per cent or higher shall establish an attendance review team for the school district, (B) has a school under the jurisdiction of the board with a school chronic absenteeism rate of fifteen per cent or higher shall establish an attendance review team at such school, (C) has more than one school under the jurisdiction of the board with a school chronic absenteeism rate of fifteen per cent or higher shall establish an attendance review team for the school district or at each such school, or (D) has a district chronic absenteeism rate of ten per cent or higher and one or more schools under the jurisdiction of the board with a school chronic absenteeism rate of fifteen per cent or higher shall establish an attendance review team for the school district or at each such school. Such attendance review teams shall be established to address chronic absenteeism in the school district or at the school or schools. (2) Any attendance review team established under this subsection may consist of school administrators, guidance counselors, school counselors, school social workers, teachers and representatives from community-based programs who address issues related to student attendance by providing programs and services to truants, as defined in section 10-198a, and chronically absent children and their parents or guardians. Each attendance review team shall be responsible for reviewing the cases of truants and chronically absent children, discussing school interventions and community referrals for such truants and chronically absent children and making any additional recommendations for such truants and chronically absent children and their parents or guardians. Each attendance review team shall meet at least monthly.
General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 10-198d. Chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan.
(a) Not later than January 1, 2016, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap established pursuant to section 10-16nn, shall develop a chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan for use by local and regional boards of education to reduce chronic absenteeism in the school district.
(b) (1) The chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (A) Information that describes (i) chronic absenteeism, including, but not limited to, the definition of a chronically absent child under section 10-198c, and the causes of chronic absenteeism, such as poverty, violence, poor health and lack of access to transportation, (ii) the effect of chronic absenteeism on a student’s academic performance, and (iii) how family and school partnerships with community resources, including, but not limited to, family resource centers and youth service bureaus, can reduce chronic absenteeism and improve student attendance, and (B) a means of collecting and analyzing data relating to student attendance, truancy and chronic absenteeism for the purpose of (i) disaggregating such data by school district, school, grade and subgroups, such as race, ethnicity, gender, eligibility for free or reduced priced lunches, students whose primary language is not English and students with disabilities, and (ii) assisting local and regional boards of education in (I) tracking chronic absenteeism over multiple years and for the current school year, (II) developing indicators to identify students who are at risk of being chronically absent children, (III) monitoring students’ attendance over time, and (IV) making adjustments to interventions as they are being implemented. (2) The chronic absenteeism prevention and intervention plan may include, but need not be limited to, the following: (A) A research-based and data-driven mentorship model that addresses and attempts to reduce chronic absenteeism through the use of mentors, such as students, teachers, administrators, intramural and interscholastic athletic coaches, school resource officers and community partners, and (B) incentives and rewards that recognize schools and students that improve attendance and reduce the school chronic absenteeism rate.
General Statutes of Connecticut Sec. 10-198e. Identification of truancy intervention models.
The Department of Education shall identify effective truancy intervention models for implementation by local and regional boards of education pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-198a, including intervention models that address the needs of students with disabilities. Not later than August 15, 2018, a listing of such approved models shall be available for implementation by local and regional boards of education pursuant to said subsection (b).
Guidelines for Implementation of the Definitions of Excused and Unexcused Absences and Best Practices for Absence Prevention and Intervention
These guidelines from the Connecticut State Board of Education discuss nationally recognized best practices to improve attendance through prevention and intervention activities.
Reducing Chronic Absence in Connecticut's Schools: A Prevention and Intervention Guide for Schools and Districts
This document provides guidance for school districts to implement a tiered support approach to addressing chronic absenteeism and improving attendance.