TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Four years ago, in 2014, Los Ninos Elementary School had an issue with attendance, the school had 30 percent of its student body as chronically absent. Teachers knew there was a problem and wanted to figure out a plan to fix it.
Enter School Resource Officer Deputy Ryan Powell. With Powell’s assistance, school staff began tackling the issue of chronically absent students, which is a student that has missed 18 or more days of school during a 180-day school year. As a result of the research, the Truancy Task Force was born.
The school began looking at which students were not showing up at school, and once the school found their address, Deputy Powell took one of the principals to that student’s house.
The principal would talk to the family about the importance of going to school, while Deputy Powell talked to the family about the truancy laws in the county.
Fast forward four years to now and the program is starting to show some great progress.