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The Truancy Battle: Getting Kids to School (page 2)

The Truancy Battle: Getting Kids to School

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Updated on Aug 20, 2010

Heilbrunn and Kathy Christie, chief of staff with the Education Commission of the States, said much of the battle to keep kids engaged and in school lies with school officials. But there still is much parents can do:

  • Get your kids to school. Whether it's making sure they're at the bus stop or dropped off at school, it is the parent's responsibility to make sure kids are in school, Christie said.
  • Extracurricular clubs. Encourage your child to join a club or play sports at school, Heilbrunn said. This is one of the ways kids can get attached to their school. A club or sport gives the child friends who share their passions and offer another reason to go to school.
  • Know your kids. Talk to your child regularly. Make sure you know their friends and what's going on in school. Talk to their teachers to spot a problem before it becomes serious. Heilbrunn said it can be easy for a child to miss one class with a friend to avoid a test. But the student may feel uncomfortable returning to class and the situation can snowball. "Don't let a single call from school go uninvestigated," Heilbrunn said. "Send the message to your child that they won't get away with anything."
  • Talk to school officials. Don't be a stranger at your child's school. Make sure you know the legal definition of truancy at school and touch base with your child's teachers whenever your child misses more than a day or two to make sure all the proper makeup work has been done and your child is caught up and seems engaged.

Click here for a run-down on truancy laws in your state, provided by the Education Commission of the States.

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