LEELANAU COUNTY SCHOOL AND COURT TRUANCY PROGRAM
The Michigan Compulsory Attendance Law (MCL 380.1147, 380.1278a, 380,1278b, 380, 1284, 3801284b, 380.1561, 380.1599. MCL 388.1701) (2010) now states that students must attend school from ages 6 to 18 years, with few exceptions. The law mandates a student who turned age eleven on or after December 1, 2009, or who was age eleven before that date and entered grade 6 in 2009 or later, must attend school until they are to eighteen years of age. The following chart may be used as a guideline for determining which class will have to attend until the age of 18 years of age.
The change applies to a child who:
This change does not apply to a child who:
Age 11, December 2009 OR 6th Grade 2009-2010 School Year
Age 12, December 2010 7th Grade 2010-2011 School Year
Age 13, December 2011 8th Grade 2011-2012 School Year
Age 14, December 2012 9th Grade 2012-2013 School Year
Age 15, December 2013 10th Grade 2013-2014 School Year
Age 16, December 2014 11th Grade 2014-2015 School Year
Age 17, December 2015 12th Grade 2015-2016 School Year
School truancy is a serious concern for our youth in Leelanau County. Truancy is not only detrimental to success in education, but is a stepping-stone to delinquent and criminal activity. Reports have concluded that chronic absenteeism is the most powerful predictor of delinquent behavior. Absences in excess of 5 days/semester and 10 tardies without a valid excuse (proper documentation is needed) are considered excessive.
**Federal Policy is directing the Michigan Department of Human Services/Resources to require school attendance as a condition of temporary cash assistance eligibility for all children ages 6-18 effective October 1, 2012.
The Truancy Program is a collaborative effort between the Glen Lake Public Schools, Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s Catholic Schools, Leland Public Schools, Northport Public Schools, Suttons Bay Public Schools, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Traverse Bay Area ISD, Leelanau Montessori, Leelanau County Family Court/13th Circuit Court, Leelanau County Prosecuting Attorney, 86th District Court, Grand Traverse Band Tribal Court, Grand Traverse Band Education Department, Leelanau County Sheriffs’ Office, Grand Traverse Band Tribal Police, Michigan State Police and the Department of Human Services.
It is the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s) to see that their child attends school regularly and on time. By law, “every parent, guardian, or other person in this state having control and charge of a child from age six to the child’s eighteenth birthday, shall send that child to the public schools during the entire school year.” Violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine. Exceptions to this law exist, including attendance at approved non-public schools and home schooling. MCL 380.1599
Schools must inform parent(s)/guardian(s) when their child is not in school. Comprehensive attendance procedures should be adopted by public schools that are understandable and reasonable. The law requires that the school meet with the parent(s)/guardian(s), with the child to address educational problems including truancy. It is important that the school address the issue of truancy as quickly as possible. Schools must accurately document every absence and respond appropriately and immediately in offering support to students. An effort should be made to resolve issues contributing to the student’s attendance problems.
The Leelanau County Family Court/13th Circuit Court has jurisdiction over youth under age 17 who “willfully and repeatedly absents himself or herself from school or other learning program intended to meet the child’s educational needs…” MCL 712A.2(a)(4)
The Principal/ School Attendance Personnel, as well as a Leelanau County Family Court Official, School counselor/Youth Intervention Specialist will hold a Truancy Action Meeting with the parent(s) and child (the child attends the meeting only in middle and high school truancy cases) to resolve truancy issues. If after the meeting, the child’s absences continue, the Principal/SAP may file a Truancy petition (in middle school and high school cases) with the Leelanau County Truancy Coordinator/Prosecutor’s office. In the case of elementary truancy the parent(s) are responsible for attending the Truancy Action Meeting (the child does not attend). If the absences continue following the meeting (in elementary school cases), the Principal/SAP may bring it to the attention of the Leelanau County Truancy Coordinator/Prosecutor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for further review.
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