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Experts Share Best Practices for Creating Anti-Truancy Environment in Schools

Experts Share Best Practice for Creating Anti-Truancy Environment in Schools

How can administrators and educators prevent truancy in their schools? One way to do so is to create a safe and supportive environment for every student. 

So says two experts, Jim Hammen and Sean Slade in an article on DistrictAdministration.com. In the article, Hammen, director of student services for a 12,000-student district north of Kansas City, said "teachers and other educators in Liberty Public Schools are asked to take quick action if, for instance, a student has stopped participating or has become withdrawn in class."

That action, according to the article, "includes having the teacher, an administrator, school employee or volunteer begin working one-on-one with students to discuss problems. By developing a close relationship, adults will better understand the problems students have."

“That, to me, has been a connecting point that has made a difference for our students,” Hammen said. “We try to be preventive or proactive before it gets to be time missed from class.”

If students continue to miss school, the article said, "adults can continue to assist."

Sean Slade, ASCD's director of whole child programs, "says students may start skipping school if they don’t feel safe or secure, or if they believe that no one in the building cares about them," the article said.

"It’s making sure that the adults in the schools are playing a role in knowing who the student is—knowing the student as a person as opposed to just someone who’s there to learn,” Slade said.

The article looks at a study from 2009 by Slade in the Handbook for Positive Psychology in Schools. In the study, the students said " they knew teachers cared about them when teachers asked questions about their personal lives."

“For the last 10 or so years, teachers have been told all that’s important is test scores in language arts and math—all that’s important is the ability to convey content knowledge,” Slade said. “What we’re finding is something teachers have known for a long time—knowing your students, making sure they feel valued and wanted. Those things matter.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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