Mono officials say state truancy figure is too high

mono_courthouse_10-08.jpgThe California Attorney General recently issued a new report on truancy in the State’s schools. Inyo County was listed with a 5.7% rate and Mono County, 26.7%. Mono school and legal officials believe that figure is way too high.

Lois Klein, Superintendent of Mammoth Unified School District, called the State truancy figure for Mono County “very high.” She said sometimes as the State begins to collect data, there is not consistency in how it is entered. She said some of those listed may not be actual truancies. The definition of truancy is three or more unexcused absences from school in any given year.

Klein said that Mammoth schools are not way out of line with truancy. She said attendance is typically 90 to 94%. Asked about the School Attendance Review Board impact on truancy and absences, Superintendent Klein said, “I am very impressed with it. It is a real strength, and it represents how our community organizations work together.”

The Mono County Review Board includes representatives from Eastern Sierra Unified and Mammoth Unified School Districts, Public Health, Behavioral Health, Social Services, Probation, Sheriff, Police, and the District Attorney. Klein said these officials are all there to seriously support and improve attendance. She said Mammoth Schools will utilize that tool. Klein added that there is a lot of research that demonstrates being at school correlates with overall achievement.

Klein also said that the State is now collecting a lot of data on schools on things like discipline, attendance and staffing. She said instead of asking districts to manually report details, the State is pulling information out of computer systems. Klein pointed out that if information is not entered consistently, there is room for error. She called this an issue across the State. Klein said districts are wrestling with that because they have been cut back financially and at the same time asked to provide more accountability.

The District Attorney, head of the Attendance Review Board – Dr. Don Clark, and Mono County Superintendent of Schools – Stacey Adler, all said that the State truancy figure for Mono County is very high.



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13 Responses to Mono officials say state truancy figure is too high

  1. Desert Tortoise October 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    All of the comments on this thread were deleted? Why?

    • Benett Kessler October 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      I didn’t delete anything.
      Benett Kessler

    • Benett Kessler October 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      This is a follow-up story to the first truancy story, so maybe you are not seeing comments on the first story.

  2. Mongo The Idiot October 17, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    It was embarrassing for me to go to school, I couldn’t keep up with the other kids academically. I think it may have been the divorce that threw me of balance yet I am not sure. Divorce and problems at home made me feel unwanted. Looking back I see myself as being in some sort of shock. As an unwanted kid I was very anxious around the other kids which shut down my brain. I could not do math or English yet got A’s in science and art. After dropping out I did odd jobs till I stumbled onto a foundry and started doing bronze art casting. Through the art business I earned some self worth. At that point I landed a very good job as a traveling buyer for a respected firm. This firm sponsored me through a very difficult and prestigious occupational college program. I finished that three year program in the all time top 3%.
    My point is this; my savior was people believing in me and showing me the way with tasks I could do instead of forcing me to do tasks I couldn’t. Some kids that don’t go to school want to be worthwhile and please you, they just cant do the work the other kids are doing. Please keep trying till you find stuff they do want to do. Had you loaned me a horse and taught me to cowboy, I’d of strung fence from here to Montana for you.
    Kids that don’t go to school are giving up, they aren’t getting any fun out of life. They don’t see the point in compliance because they are smart enough to see they are getting screwed. Administrators don’t identify with or understand these kids, most did well in school and were rewarded. Many are incapable of providing support, in some cases due to their lack of understanding as to where these troubled kids are coming from.
    I write this stuff because I just want to help, I hope it hurts no one.
    For those of you that give me the thumbs down, I hope that act brings you satisfaction.

    • Mongo The Idiot October 17, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      off balance

    • Mongo The Idiot October 17, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Off Balance, not of balance in above post.

    • Ken Warner October 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      Mongo, your life history is much like mine. But it took me a lot longer to find my self worth and eventually get through college. I had to start way back with high school math. I didn’t learn to write half way decent until much later.

      It’s easy for me to understand the drop outs and the recalcitrant kids. They should have help but they don’t. The school system is not prepared for them.

      I didn’t hold back others with my problems. That wasn’t true for all the kids like me and there were more than a few. Not an easy problem.

      • Mongo The Idiot October 19, 2013 at 9:44 am #

        My savior was people believing in me and showing me the way with tasks I could do instead of forcing me to do tasks I couldn’t.

  3. Pedro October 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    First, the definition of truancy as three unexcused absences is weak. What if you live in a family that considers a once in a lifetime chance to go on a camping or hunting trip, go to see a traveling art exhibit, ballet or theatre, participate in a spiritual or religious ceremony, etc (while keeping up your studies at school) as a priority in your education and upbringing? What if you are needed at home four times a year to care for your grandparents?

    If you can’t work this out with the school or your parents are unwilling to teach you to lie about it, you are a truant. I am not excusing parents that neglect their kids, but the these policies are often about revenue for the school district and not always about actually caring about education. The rule in my house was, and is, if you can show me that you are doing something to improve yourself and that better prepares you for life then we will work that into your schedule, even if it means learning math while you build a boat and not in the classroom.

    Second thing is too long for this post.

    • Benett Kessler October 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      I believe there is another factor – unexcused absences. Many, if not all, of the things you mentioned above are, with communication from parents, excused absences. They’re talking about no-shows with no communication.

      • CA Educational Code October 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

        CA Educational Code

        48205. (a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused
        from school when the absence is:
        (1) Due to his or her illness.
        (2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city
        health officer.
        (3) For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or
        chiropractic services rendered.
        (4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member
        of his or her immediate family, so long as the absence is not more
        than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more
        than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
        (5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by
        (6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours
        of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent.
        (7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited
        to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service,
        observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion,
        attendance at religious retreats, attendance at an employment
        conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the
        legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization
        when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or
        guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative
        pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.
        (8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for
        an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
        (9) For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s
        immediate family, who is an active duty member of the uniformed
        services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty
        for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment
        to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted
        pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to
        be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school
        (b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed
        to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that
        can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within
        a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The
        teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine
        which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but
        not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the
        pupil missed during the absence.
        (c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats
        shall not exceed four hours per semester.
        (d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in
        computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state
        apportionment payments.
        (e) “Immediate family,” as used in this section, has the same
        meaning as set forth in Section 45194, except that references therein
        to “employee” shall be deemed to be references to “pupil.”

  4. Mongo The Idiot October 19, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    There is some flexibility. If the board created an outside work experience program and the parents approved, the non conforming student could get credit for occupational training or internship programs. This way even if the student dropped out of school they would be able to make a living.
    *From #(7) When the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or
    guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative
    pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board.

  5. ferdinand lopez October 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    get the crack head parents off theyre butts and get the soon to be drop outs to school


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