Abolish Chronic Truancy

Abolish Chronic Truancy (ACT) is a program and partnership with Clovis and Portales Schools and businesses with the goal to reduce the number of truant students in the Ninth Judicial District, while motivating the students to achieve success in their academic careers.  With help from ACT’s mascot “Squatch”, members of the DA’s office talk to students about the importance of being at school everyday on time.  Local businesses provide resources to reward students with prizes for perfect attendance including, bikes, iPads, scholarships, and a trip to Dallas.

 

Truancy : What is it and where does it take you?

 

Compulsory attendance laws in the State of New Mexico define truancy in three different ways. Habitual Truant refers to a student who has accumulated the equivalent of ten or more unexcused absences within a school year. Truant refers to a student who has accumulated five unexcused absences within any twenty day period; and Unexcused Absence is an absence from school or a class for which the student does not have an allowable excuse pursuant to the Compulsory School Attendance Laws or rules of the local school board or the governing authority of a private school.

 

Numerous studies in recent years have shown that students who miss school on a regular basis have a significantly increased chance of delinquent behavior that leads to adult criminal activities.

75% of prison inmates and 31% of adult probationers have not graduated from high school. 

Results from the 2000 census show that high school dropouts had only a 52% employment rate in 1999, 

compared to 71% for high school graduates, and 83% for college graduates. 

High school dropouts claim more in government-funded social services than individuals with a high school 

diploma. 

 

Combating Truancy

 

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb is passionate about seeing the students of Curry and Roosevelt counties achieve success in their academic career. With the combined efforts of multiple agencies we are determined to reduce the number of truant students in our district. When students are successful in school they have a higher self-esteem and an increased motivation to succeed. It has been proven that students who graduate high school will have increased employment opportunities, higher salaries, and be independent of social services.

To achieve this goal we must come together as an entire community, parents, students, social services, school districts, and law enforcement, because no single organization can achieve this goal alone.

 

Information for Parents

 

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child attends school. In accordance with New Mexico State Law, after a student is considered truant the school district will contact the the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student to inform them and discuss possible interventions. 

 

A representative of the school district will also meet with the student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to identify the cause for his/her truancy, identify what actions can be taken that might prevent the truancy, identify possible school and community resources to address the cause for the truancy, and establish a corrective action plan to the address the problem. If the student is a habitual truant, the school will give written notice of the habitual truancy to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student. If there is another unexcused absence after this notice, the student will be reported to the probation services office within seven days. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) are found responsible for the truancy, they may face prosecution.

Helpful tips...

 

  1. Make education a family priority and emphasize the important role education plays throughout life.

  2. Help your child develop good study and work habits.

  3. Help your child develop and achieve academic goals.

  4. Meet the teachers and other school personnel. They can provide important insights into school performance 

      and suggest ways for improvement.

  1. Get your child tutorial help with subjects that pose learning difficulties.

  2. Get to know the friends and classmates of your child. They can influence school performance of your child. 

  3. Lack of friends or problems with classmates can also affect school performance.

  4. Raise with praise. Recognize when your child does well in school and other activities, then reward your child with praise.

 

Resources:

 

Student Support Services
575.769.4490

Clovis Municipal Schools Administrative Offices
575.769.4300
www.cms.k12.nm.us

The Hartley House
575.762.0050
www.nmsvdv.org

Children Youth and Families Department
575.762.6875

CONTACT CLOVIS

Email:      9thda@da.state.nm.us
Address: 
 417 Gidding, Suite 200

              Clovis, NM 88101
Phone:    575-769-2246

Fax:        575-769-3198

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CONTACT PORTALES

Email:      9thda@da.state.nm.us
Address: 
 205 South Main St.

              Portales, NM 88130
Phone:    575-356-4434

Fax:        575-356-3083