The Ada City Schools Truancy Program is designed to encourage parents to recommit to having their students in school on time each day. It is not a program set up to punish parents, according to Superintendent Pat Harrison.
“Under Oklahoma’s current rules of high-stakes testing, it’s critical that students be in school. If students aren’t in school, they can’t pass the state’s mandated testing. Quite simply, if students can’t pass the tests, they cannot earn a high school diploma; we need our kids in school. A big thanks goes out to Judge Landrith and the district attorney’s office for their assistance,” Harrison said.
Ada Junior High Attendance Secretary Pat Correll added, “We are trying to get their attention on the importance of having their students in class and on time, but when all avenues are exhausted the final step will be to turn the matter over to the district attorney’s office and parents will be subpoenaed to appear in front of Judge Landrith, who has volunteered his time to this project.”
Correll said a letter will generally go out from the student’s school and the parents are informed that their student Continued from page one
has excess absences and they need to contact the school to discuss this matter.
“Hopefully the parent will call and we can discuss how this problem can be corrected. If we do not have a response or if we have talked to the parents and the students continue to miss school they will get a letter from District Attorney John Hubbard and a date will be set for them to appear,” she said.
It will be the responsibility of school officials to first identify a truancy problem. Teachers, counselors and attendance secretaries, as well as principals and administrators should all be familiar with their school attendance policies. Once a truancy problem has been identified, the school should contact the student’s parents and it does not have to be face-to-face contact.