Who is a 'Truant?'
A "truant" is defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without a valid cause. This is an unexcused absence.
What is a valid cause for a school absence?
Who is a "Chronic or habitual truant?"
- Observance of a religious holiday
- Death in immediate family
- Family emergency
- Other situation beyond the control of the student as determined by the district's board of education in each district. Needs to be a specific board policy.
A child subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days..
Truancy Petition Steps
Steps in moving toward truancy petition to the State's Attorney Office.
- After the third day of unexcused absences a letter is mailed to the home from the building principal stating:
A. Days Absent
B. Next step will be a mandatory appearance at a Local Truancy Review Board.
- After the sixth (6th) day of unexcused absences a letter is mailed home from district office stating time, date, and location of their appearance at a local truancy review board. (Local truancy review board designs districts interventions for the truant.)
- After the ninth (9th) day of unexcused absences a letter mailed to home from ROE stating time, date, and location of their appearance at the Regional Truancy Review Board. (This Review Board designs interventions for truant students.)
- After nine unexcused absences and an appearance before the Regional Truancy Review Board, a petition may be filed with the St. Clair County State's Attorney.
After three (3) days of unexcused absences, the principal or designee should send to the parents/guardians a 3-day letter (see sample) stating the student's days absent. The mailing should include a copy of the following document(s):
After six (6) days of unexcused absences by a student, a Local Truancy Review Board Meeting must be scheduled. A letter stating the time and place for the Local Truancy Review Board Meeting should be sent to the parents/guardians by the District Superintendent (see sample). The mailing should include the following document(s):
After 9 (9) days of unexcused absences by a student, the school district should send notification to the Regional Office of Education. The Regional Office of Education will schedule a Regional Truancy Review Board Hearing for the student and their parents/guardians.
TO SCHEDULE A REGIONAL TRUANCY REVIEW BOARD HEARING, THE ROE WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:
- Student Content Form
- This document must have the student's SIS number.
- If possible, please list the names of any siblings attending education institutions in the district.
- Copy of the 3-day letter mailed to the parents/guardians by the school
- Copy of the 6-day letter mailed to the parents/guardians by the school
- Student & Parent Questionnaires
- Questionnaires should be completed during the Local Review Board Hearing process.
- Local Truancy Review Board Outcome Form
- Completed during the Local Truancy Review Board Meeting.
- Any referrals or requests for additional support services by the parents/guardians should be recorded on the Local Truancy Review Board Outcome Form.
- Demographic Sheet
- Truancy Interventions
- List dates in which phone calles, meetings, and home visits were conducted with the student and their parents/guardians.
- Official Attendance and Academic Records
The above documents should be emailed as a PDF file or sent by regular postal mail to the ROE. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The mail address for the ROE is 1000 South Illinois Street, Belleville, IL 62220-2537.
Upon review of the above documents, the ROE will schedule the regional hearing by sending a 9-day letter (see sample) to the student's parents/guardians and and the school representative. The letter will state the tiem and place of the regional truancy hearing. The ROE Mental Health and Truancy Case Manager will serve as the contact person for all regional truancy hearings.
All Regional Truancy Review Board Hearings are held on Wednesdays, (changes noted on schedule) at the ROE at 1000 South Illinois Street in Belleville beginning at 10:00 a.m. Hearings are typically scheduled every 30-45 minutes.
Students are asked to accompany their parents/guardians at the Regional Turancy Review Board Hearing. Other persons that may be present at a regional hearing include the following:
Hearing Officer - ROE Assistant Superintendent
ROE Mental Health and Truancy Case Manager
Social Service Agency Representative
Appropriate School Personnel (if applicable)
The ROE Truancy and Mental Health Case Manager will provide consultation to families for purpose of referrals and follow up with families to ensure they are receiving services as mandated by the school, ROE Truancy Review Board, and the St. Clair County Courts.