ERIC Number: ED240481
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Truancy Sweeps. Target Area: Discipline.
Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, CA.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF THIS DOCUMENT: Truancy sweeps, a cooperative effort of the high school district, Santa Maria Police Department, and Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department, gave us a valuable insight. The sweeps, unannounced to the public but coordinated by high school assistant principals and law enforcement agencies, were part of a concentrated effort to improve attendance. To our surprise, we found that the students who were picked up on these sweeps were not habitual trouble-makers or truants! Once we identified our students and found out why they were not in school that day, we discovered situations which could be alleviated through school or public service agency attention for several truant students. There are 3,600 students attending our two major high schools. On the first sweep, conducted in October with both law enforcement agencies participating, 29 students were picked up and detained. The next sweep, in December, netted only 18 students. The word was out on the campus. According to one student, "When that jail door clanged shut, I KNEW I didn't want to be there." On the day of a sweep, assistant principals from each school are "on duty" at law enforcement agencies. Students are identified; their parents are telephoned and told to come and get their sons or daughters and return them to school. Granted, this is traumatic for both students and their parents. However, it IS working, as the last sweep brought in less than 10 students. Fred Miller, Santa Maria High School Assistant Principal, who works with discipline and attendance problems and participates in the sweep action, says: "There is no single program which keeps students in school." Truancy sweeps, along with parent contact, responsibility shared according to district policy and the student behavior code, and communication about all of these efforts, is paying off in improved attendance, better discipline, and a community which knows what's going on in its schools. [This document was selected by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Task Force on Public Confidence as descriptive of a promising practice or exemplary project worthy of highlighting for the California educational community]. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, CA.