The attendance procedures in the Chambersburg Area School District are undergoing revisions due to new truancy legislation that Governor Wolf signed in November 2016. The revised policies will be in place for the 2017-2018 school year.
"The purpose of the new law is to improve school attendance and deter truancy with a more comprehensive approach that addresses issues as early as possible. It is designed to be a more family centered approach that preserves the unity of the family," said Maria Banks, CASHS truancy outreach specialist.
The law actually states that one of its primary objectives is to "avoid the loss of housing, the possible entry of a child to foster care, and other unintended consequences of disruption of an intact family unit."
"The new law defines truancy as three or more school days of unexcused absence during the current school year and it defines habitual truancy as six or more days of unexcused absence," explained Mary Shull-Lambert, district social worker.
"We are working on updating our procedures. September is National Attendance Month and we want to provide opportunities for parents to learn more specifically about how we are handling the changes this law requires," said Mrs. Banks.
This will have an impact on all schools, but I am optimistic we will work through it and have the revised procedures ready to go for next school year, noted Mrs. Shull-Lambert.