The Scott County Attendance Review Board began in 2006 as a new project of the Drop Out Prevention Task Force. Both school districts and the Judicial system of Scott County worked together to develop a plan for improving school attendance. The purpose of the Attendance Review Board is to problem-solve with the students, the parents, and the schools to develop a plan that ensures the student attends school regularly.
Representatives from various social service and mental health agencies serve as community representatives on the board. Schools send representatives from the specific school involved. When a school believes that a student has accumulated an inordinate amount of absences, then a letter is written to the family informing them of the seriousness of the issue and the need for the child to be in school. It is left to the discretion of the school when an attendance issue needs to be addressed through SCARB. Generally, the invitation to SCARB occurs after 10-12 days of missed school.
If the attendance problem continues, then the Scott County Prosecutor issues an invitation to the family and the student to attend the Scott County Attendance Review Board. Families, students, and the members of the board discuss reasons or problems the student has that prevent him/her from attending school. An action plan to improve school attendance is developed by all parties. A copy of this plan is provided to the school involved, the family, and the Prosecutor’s Office.
We tracked the results of SCARB for a number of years. We found that school attendance greatly improved for approximately 80% of students who were referred to the Scott County Attendance Board, who came to the meeting and developed an action plan. Those students and their families whose attendance did not improve or does not improve may be subject to other court action at a later date. This could include the student being turned over to Probation. Or, it may mean the parents or guardians being charged with educational neglect.
For more information, please contact:
Heather Law, firstname.lastname@example.org