State law encourages or requires districts to address truancy or chronic absenteeism through the provision of comprehensive student support services.
2016 Iowa Chronic Absenteeism Advisory Council Final Report
Report of actions taken by council to combat chronic absenteeism
Iowa Code 299.12 Violation of attendance policy - attendance cooperation meeting - agreement.
- ...If a child is not in compliance with the attendance requirements established under section 299.1, and has not completed educational requirements through the sixth grade, and the school has used every means available to assure the child does attend, the school truancy officer shall contact the child’s parent, guardian, or legal or actual custodian to participate in an attendance cooperation meeting. The parties to the attendance cooperation meeting may include the child and shall include the child’s parent, guardian, or legal or actual custodian and the school truancy officer. The school truancy officer contacting the participants in the attendance cooperation meeting may invite other school officials, a designee of the juvenile court, the county attorney or the county attorney’s designee, or other persons deemed appropriate to participate in the attendance cooperation meeting.
- The purpose of the attendance cooperation meeting is for the parties participating in the meeting to attempt to ascertain the cause of the child’s nonattendance, to cause the parties to arrive at an agreement relative to addressing the child’s attendance, and to initiate referrals to any services or counseling that the parties believe to be appropriate under the circumstances. The terms agreed to shall be reduced to writing in an attendance cooperation agreement and signed by the parties to the agreement. Each party signing the agreement shall receive a copy of the agreement, which shall set forth the cause identified for the child’s nonattendance and future responsibilities of each party.
- If the parties to an attendance cooperation meeting determine that a monitor would improve compliance with the attendance cooperation agreement, the parties may designate a person to monitor the agreement. The monitor shall be a designee of the public school board or governing body of the accredited nonpublic school. The monitor may be a volunteer if the volunteer is approved by all parties to the agreement and receives a written authorization for access to confidential information and for performing monitor activities from the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian. A monitor shall contact parties to the attendance cooperation agreement on a periodic basis as appropriate to monitor performance of the agreement.
- If the parties fail to enter into an attendance cooperation agreement, or the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian acting as a party violates a term of the attendance cooperation agreement or fails to participate in an attendance cooperation meeting, the child shall be deemed to be truant.