Combating truancy: What works best?

Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY Are educators looking at school absenteeism in the wrong way? A recent report says 15 percent of children are chronically absent. How are school districts in Utah trying to combat this?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say most schools nationwide look at absenteeism the wrong way, requiring districts and states to measure average daily attendance rates but not focusing on the relatively small number of students who account for most absences.

The anti-truancy measures that have been around for years seem to be most effective in Utah. Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley says they have to take action after a child has five unexcused absences.

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