(ACT Program) Abolish Chronic Truancy
Regional Office of Education #1 truancy specialists have created a highly effective intervention program to address compulsory school attendance laws in Illinois. It is called the Abolish Chronic Truancy Program or ACT. The ACT Program is designed according to Illinois Public Act 93-0858 in the school code that authorizes the Regional Office of Education's role in abolishing chronic truancy in our schools. The law provides authority to lawfully notify families of students with truancy issues and to hold legal hearings by the Regional Office of Education regarding chronic truancy.
Three separate notices from the Regional Office of Education will be sent to families displaying emerging patterns of truancy.
- The first notice informs families that a truancy problem exists, offers general support to address the attendance problems and gives official notice that continual and consistent attendance is expected throughout the remainder of the year.
- A second notice is sent if truancy continues. Specific recommendations to deter truancy are made, parental involvement is strongly suggested and objectives are clearly stated.
- The third notice is the final appeal to parents, encouraging them to take proactive steps to stop their child's truancy or to face legal interventions. This is the last chance for parents to voluntarily correct the truancy situation.
If the three notices and supportive measures prove ineffective in deterring the truancy, a Notice to Appear summons will be issued to the family. This Regional Office of Education hearing will examine the family's failed efforts to stop the truancy and discuss further actions to improve attendance. At the hearing, a service plan could include an order to accept referral services to an agency for assessment and possible counseling or other beneficial services.
Failure to comply with the requirements set at the Regional Office of Education hearing would then result in a truancy ticket request to local law enforcement. The parent of the truant student could be ticketed if the child is under age 13. In most cases a truant student, age 13 and above, would be held responsible. Additional truancy tickets could be issues for continued truancy.