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Monday, 02 November 2015 08:21

Shelby County Truancy Task Force named Program of the Year

MEMPHIS, TN – October 30, 2015 - The International Association for Truancy & Dropout Prevention (IATDP) gave its annual top honors to the Shelby County Truancy and Attendance Task Force.
The IATDP made the presentation at their 105th Annual Conference held last week at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown Memphis (October 25-28).
The DA’s office is one of several city and county agencies that make up the Truancy and Attendance Task Force. The task force was formed during the 2014-15 school year to combat growing absenteeism and to promote attendance at all schools in Shelby County.
The Truancy and Attendance Task Force is chaired by Shelby County Schools District Student Safety Manager Ronald Pope.
“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of our incredible staff and volunteers who make this program work," said D.A. Weirich. "This program is special to our office because it helps our students receive an education while helping prevent the crime of truancy.”
The IATDP is comprised of educators, government officials and stakeholders who seek to create and support partnership efforts designed to assist educators in the reduction of dropout rates and truancy. The IATDP’s history dates back to 1911.
The D.A.’s Mentoring Based Truancy Reduction Program is designed to provide support to students, parents and schools to decrease habitual truancy occurring at middle schools, to reduce student contact with the juvenile justice system and to reduce youth involvement in criminal activity and gangs.
The program seeks to identify students who have been marked as habitually truant (absent five days without excuse) from school. Once identified, both the youth and their parent or custodian will be asked to enter a standard agreement with the D.A.’s Office. In this agreement the youth and the parents agree to be matched with, and cooperate with, a designated, trained Truancy Program mentor. This agreement is enforced by court order in Juvenile Court.
Once assigned a mentor, the student is monitored and evaluated on their school attendance, performance and conduct. The student is also evaluated on their conduct at home, and with any community service or faith-based activities recommended by the mentor. The mentor, a case advocate from the school and an assistant district attorney from Juvenile Court will make a final assessment of the student’s progress.Become a Mentor!