Truancy has long been identified as an early warning sign of potential delinquent behavior, social isolation, and educational failure. Several studies have concluded that lack of commitment to school is a risk factor for substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, and dropping out. The effects of truancy are pervasive—the problem takes its toll not only on students, but also on schools and communities.
Many truant youth, left unsupervised, become increasingly more ungovernable and/or become involved in delinquent behaviors and the members of the associated communities within Caddo Parish (including but not limited to the victim and their families, surrounding neighborhoods, local businesses, the juvenile court for Caddo Parish and local law enforcement) are directly and indirectly negatively impacted by these delinquent acts.
The Truancy Program was developed through collaboration among community service providers and key stakeholders and other community leaders to maximize the efficencies of existing resources and provide effective responses to address the range of issues related to truancy.
Our newest program is TASC (Truancy and Assessment Service Center. TASC is first and foremost an advocate for children and families in grades K-5. The purpose of TASC is to provide early identification and assessment of truant children in grades K-5 and the prompt delivery of coordinated interventions to prevent continued unauthorized school absences.
Key features of the TASC centers include:
- Early identification of truant children and appropriate assessment.
- Rapid, coordinated, targeted service response to identified needs.
- Consistent, timely monitoring and revising of service plans as needed.
- Attention to family environmental factors affecting the child.
- Appropriate use of the Family in Need of Services (FINS) process, including sanctions to ensure parental cooperation and behavioral change.
The Compulsory School Attendance Law (R.S. 17:221) is in place to protect the rights of children to have the best advantage of educational opportunities available and the responsibility for attendance is that of the parent and/or guardian.
Truancy exists when a child enrolled in Kindergarten – age 18 has more than 5 unexcused absences.
Helpful things to avoid Truancy:
- Parents of K-5 students should not send excuses with the child. Instead an adult should take that excuse into the school and clear that absence with the attendance clerk. Keep a copy of the excuse or a calendar of when your excuse was turned in just in case you need to show proof.
- As soon as your child returns to school take that doctor note or parent note to the school.
- Parent notes will be accepted for 1-3 days of absence if it is turned in within 3 days of return. Take it the day they return to avoid any problems.
- A doctor note is needed after 3 consecutive days of absence. Take it the day they return to avoid any problems.
- Sign into JCampus and monitor your child’s attendance and grades at least once a week.
VYJ TASC OFFICE INFORMATION:
Student Services Building
1638 Murphy Street
Shreveport, LA 71103
Shannon Wyche- Director