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Forest Grove School District uses truancy services provided by NWRESD and Washington County's Sheriff's Department. When attendance problems first start, staff members meet with students, contact parents and try to resolve the situation before starting the truancy process. The first step is an initial notice outlining Oregon's compulsory school attendance law which is delivered to parent and requires the parent to bring the form to school and meet with staff about the attendance problem. Many times, that's all that's needed. But more often than we like, if attendance does not improve, parents are required to attend a mandatory meeting with school administrator, truant officer, counselor and other support staff. Then, if the attendance problem is not corrected, a citation is issued and parents go to court. The problem is that while it may appear to address the problem, it frequently doesn't lead to the outcome we need. Punishing parents by fining them can only be part of the approach a school district should take. Parents who struggle to get their kids to go to school need support and help in order to succeed. Sending them a ticket to pay should be the last resort after all other efforts have failed.
posted 3 years, 2 months ago
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