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Truancy Program

Your school district and Marion County are dedicated to ensuring every child is given the opportunity to receive the education they deserve.

As a parent, you are responsible for your child's regular attendance at school. Excessive absences can lead to a criminal charge being filed against each parent, punishable by up to ten days in jail or up to a $100 fine.

Why Your Child is at Risk

Many state and national statistics show the dangers of children missing school.

  • The U.S Department of Education reports that for every missed day of school, it takes a student two days to catch up.
  • Children who are are truant in elementary school often develop a pattern of truancy that leads to dropping out of school. 
  • Children who do not attend school are more likely to become involved in delinquent and ultimately criminal behaviors. 
  • Children who are truant often have low self-esteem and feel rejected. 
  • 50% of children who drop out of school are unemployed as adults.

Notify School of Any Absence

Make sure you know your school's policies about notification regarding absences and what documentation your school accepts for:

  • Illness
  • Medical appointments
  • Observance of religious holidays
  • Family emergencies

Also, know what absences your school will excuse. Some activities generally not accepted for an excused absence include:

  • Babysitting
  • Missing the bus
  • Cold Weather
  • Employment
  • Need for sleep or rest
  • Car broke down

Communication with your school is very important. Make sure to inform your school of every time your child misses class.

Advice for Parents

Make it clear that education is important by showing interest in your child's schoolwork and activities. 

  • Establish a routine and be consistent.
  • Set a regular bedtime.
  • Set clear expectations and follow through.
  • Plan appointments and vacations around the school day as much as possible.
  • Bring doctor's notes with dates and times your child was seen if they must miss school.
  • Make sure your child arrives on time. Being late 10 minutes a day totals 30 hours of lost instruction for the school year.
  • Refuse to provide an excuse for your student unless it is a legitimate absence. 

Iowa Code on Compulsory Education

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