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Truancy Prevention

The Truancy Prevention Program supports all the schools within the district and provides assistance to mitigate the circumstances of excessive absenteeism.   The Truancy Liaison also works directly with local courts and the Juvenile Probation Office to ensure that parents and students are in compliance with state and local laws and ordinances regarding truancy. The Truancy Prevention Program conducts home visits in the community, attends SAT/IEP meetings and facilitates truancy hearings. 

Additionally, in Valencia County, a student’s attendance record follows him or her no matter which school district they attend. Parents can no longer escape the consequences of truancy by simply transferring schools or transferring between Los Lunas and Belen. The best predictor of students who drop out of school is a history of poor attendance and our goal is to have all of our students graduate with the skills they need to succeed for a promising future.

Under New Mexico State Law a parent or guardian must ensure that their minor child between the age of five (5) and eighteen (18) is in school unless otherwise legally excused pursuant to NMSA Compulsory School Attendance Law ( 22-12-1 to 22-12-7 NMSA 1978).  Failure to comply with the law may result in fines, possible jail sentence, or both. The District Attorney's Office in partnership with Local Police Departments, and JPPO are committed to reducing excessive absenteeism. According to statistics, keeping children in school and off the streets lowers crime rates and keeps children out of the Juvenile Justice system.

The Student Support Programs liaison will, upon request by school staff:
  • Attend SAT/IEP meetings
  • Run attendance reports for school staff
  • Perform home visits with a school staff member
  • Send 7-day letter to parents
  • Conduct 1:1 meetings with parents and students
  • Send 10-day letter to parents
  • Facilitate truancy hearings 
  • Refer habitual truants to JPPO & District Attorney
  • Connect families in need w/Community Service Providers
  • Make referrals to the New Day RAC program
  • Assist School Secretarial Staff with the procedures related to:
                         3-day unexcused absence letters
                         5-day unexcused absence letters
                         Attendance Contracts
 

Files
 2014 Truancy Hearing Schedule
An Independent Hearing Officer will conduct truancy hearings at the BCS Board Room.
 Truancy Prevention - Forms folder
District Truancy Prevention forms.
 Truancy Prevention for Parents/Students
1). Letter to parents from the Belen Schools Superintendent.

2). "Truancy - First Step to a Lifetime of Problems," a look at how excessive absenteeism affects students.

3). "The Silent Epidemic," an in-depth picture of the dropout problem from the perspective of the students themselves. The students share what might have helped them complete their high school education.

4). NM Truancy Law Statutes

5). New NM State Law giving additional absences for Expectant and Parenting Students. 2pages
 Truancy Prevention for School Staff
3-day and 5-day unexcused absence letters and Attendance Contract both in English and Spanish for school-level interventions.
Contacts
+ Beatrice Chavez, Secretary
+ Jeff Aragon, Truancy Liaison
+ Matt Williams, School Improvement Director
Click on name to see details.

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