Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
Truancy has reached epidemic levels in schools in the United States. School truancy is
associated with delinquency, substance abuse, educational failure, and school attrition. This
paper describes 2010-2011 evaluation results of the be@school truancy intervention program in
Hennepin County, Minnesota’s most populous county. The program was implemented to
increase school attendance through coordinated, progressive early intervention efforts that
provide educational and support services to school-age children and their families. Over 6,000
children, grades K-12, and their families were referred to the program. The evaluation
compared children’s attendance records before and after program interventions. Results showed
a significant reduction in unexcused absence rates among students whose families participated
in parent group meetings. Moreover, students whose families received community agency
support had significantly fewer absences than their counterparts who received no such support.
The findings suggest that early school interventions that include community and parental
involvement can markedly reduce student truancy rates.
Staying Power: Assessing the Impact of the be@school Program on Student Attendance Behavior.
Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.
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