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Posted: January 6, 2015

APS Tackles Truancy with 3-Day Blitz Thursday-Saturday

The district is working with the community on finding ways to improve school attendance, so students have a better chance at success.

Like other large urban districts, Albuquerque Public Schools faces a truancy problem. At the elementary school level, roughly eight percent of students are habitually truant with ten or more unexcused absences a year, and those numbers increase as students get older.

Being absent from the classroom not only leads to educational failures, but also serves as a warning sign for delinquent activity or social isolation.

Recognizing the severity of the consequences of habitual absenteeism, APS is turning to the community for help during a three-day Truancy Blitz Jan. 22-24.

Truancy Town Hall words only

With the motto, “You Must be Present to Win,” the district is stressing that students who aren’t in the classroom aren’t receiving a full education, which means they often won’t win in life. 

“The factors that lead to truancy are far too complex to expect the district to annihilate the problem alone,” said Interim Superintendent Brad Winter. “It’s time to fine tune our approach to dealing with this problem, which means tackling it as a community.”

The three-day Truancy Blitz serves to discuss best practices, invite local organizations to share their efforts toward improving attendance and receive suggestions for how districts and communities can better partner to reduce truancy.

The blitz kicks off on Thursday with a Community Summit on School Attendance co-hosted by Mission Graduate where educators and community leaders will gather to discuss the importance of attendance and how schools, businesses and organizations can better align efforts. 

Truancy Summit On Friday, we’re partnering with KRQE News 13 and 2 KASA to host a call-in show for parents and students. Tune in to 2 KASA from 7-10 a.m. and feel free to call in your questions or suggestions for dealing with truancy.

The Blitz will wrap up with a Truancy Town Hall on Saturday from 10-noon at Manzano High in which administrators will talk about the district's truancy prevention and intervention program and then open the floor to questions and input. 

The reasons for truancy run the gamut from lack of transportation to a complicated home life to work and parenting constraints and undiagnosed mental health issues for students and family members. Combating these struggles takes a proactive approach that includes families, schools and the community.

During the Truancy Blitz, these groups will come together to analyze the progress of current initiatives and discuss how to best implement truancy intervention across the district.

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