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Innovation Brief: Using Community Truancy Boards to Tackle Truancy

Published Dec 12, 2013, Bonnie Bush, Juvenile Court Administrator, Spokane County Juvenile Court

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In 2007, after a coalition of community stakeholders expressed concern with the high dropout rates and high occurrence of truancy in their Eastern Washington community, the Spokane County Juvenile Court teamed with the West Valley School District to conduct an in-depth effectiveness study of their existing community truancy board. The West Valley Community Truancy Board is a collaborative, communitybased approach to working with truant youth in order to keep them in school. The community truancy board seeks to address the problem of truancy by engaging truant youth and their families in a restorative justice oriented program in which a variety of school, court and community resources are coordinated to improve school attendance, promote school attachment, and enhance academic achievement. The goal of the intervention is successful school re-engagement and renewed progress toward graduation. This model has been successfully replicated in the state of Washington and the replication toolkit has been shared with stakeholders across the country.

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