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Sunnyside School Board OKs forming truancy board

The Sunnyside School Board gave its okay to form a community truancy board at last night's meeting.

The community truancy board will be made up of nine members of the community.

The forming of this board provides another step before Sunnyside students are sent to BECCA Truancy Court in Yakima County.

Sunnyside High School Assistant Principal Wally Shearer said in research he has done, he found that truancy boards have been around for a couple of years.

In the past at Sunnyside High School, once a student triggered a second look with unexcused absences, they were required to have a meeting with school administrators and their parents. An attendance contract was signed and if unexcused absences continued, the student was sent to truancy court.

Presently a second step has been added to the mix. After the parent meeting, if the unexcused absences continue, then the student is required to attend a teenage development group. Only after failing with the teenage development group is the student sent to truancy court.

With the addition of the community truancy board, the student will be sent there if the teenage development group isn't successful.

At the truancy board the student will be informed of the consequences and given an opportunity to correct the problem with a plan of improvement. The student willd then be monitored for three weeks and then asked to return to the board to see if any progress has been made. If the student fails, then they will be sent to the truancy court.

Five unexcused absences in a month trigger a parent meeting, or 10 unexcused absences in a tri-semester.

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