State law encourages or requires districts to address truancy or chronic absenteeism through the provision of comprehensive student support services.
Utah Code 53-G-6-207. Truancy specialists.
A local school board or charter school governing board may appoint and fix the compensation of a truancy specialist to assist in enforcing laws related to school attendance and to perform other duties prescribed by law or the state board.
Utah Code 53G-6-206. Duties of a school board, local charter board, or school district in resolving attendance problems -- Parental involvement -- Liability not imposed.
(1) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (1)(b), a local school board, charter school governing board, or school district shall make efforts to resolve the school attendance problems of each school-age minor who is, or should be, enrolled in the school district.
- (b) A minor exempt from school attendance under Section 53G-6-204 or 53G-6-702 is not considered to be a minor who is or should be enrolled in a school district or charter school under Subsection (1)(a).
(2) The efforts described in Subsection (1) shall include, as reasonably feasible:
- (a) counseling of the minor by school authorities;
- (b) issuing a notice of truancy to a school-age minor who is at least 12 years old, in accordance with Section 53-6-203;
- (c) issuing a notice of compulsory education violation to a parent of a school-age child, in accordance with Section 53-6-202;
- (d) making any necessary adjustment to the curriculum and schedule to meet special needs of the minor;
- (e) considering alternatives proposed by a parent;
- (f) monitoring school attendance of the minor;
- (g) voluntary participation in truancy mediation, if available; and
- (h) providing a school-age minor's parent, upon request, with a list of resources available to assist the parent in resolving the school-age minor's attendance problems.
(3) In addition to the efforts described in Subsection (2), the local school board, charter school governing board, or school district may enlist the assistance of community and law enforcement agencies as appropriate and reasonably feasible in accordance with Section 53G-8-211.
(4) This section does not impose civil liability on boards of education, local school boards, charter school governing boards, school districts, or their employees.
(5) Proceedings initiated under this part do not obligate or preclude action by the Division of Child and Family Services under Section 78A-6-319.
Utah Code 53G-6-209. Truancy support centers.
(1) A school district may establish one or more truancy support centers for:
- (a) truant minors taken into custody under Section 53G-6-208; or
- (b) students suspended or expelled from school.
(2) A truancy support center shall provide services to the truant minor and the truant minor's family, including:
- (a) assessments of the truant minor's needs and abilities;
- (b) support for the parents and truant minor through counseling and community programs; and
- (c) tutoring for the truant minor during the time spent at the center.
(3) For the suspended or expelled student, the truancy support center shall provide an educational setting, staffed with certified teachers and aides, to provide the student with ongoing educational programming appropriate to the student's grade level.
(4) In a district with a truancy support center, all students suspended or expelled from school shall be referred to the center. A parent shall appear with the student at the center within 48 hours of the suspension or expulsion, not including weekends or holidays. The student shall register and attend classes at the truancy support center for the duration of the suspension or expulsion unless the parent demonstrates that alternative arrangements have been made for the education or supervision of the student during the time of suspension or expulsion.
(5) The truancy support center may provide counseling and other support programming for students suspended or expelled from school and their parents.