Every Day Matters

Education is important and attendance is no small ingredient to a successful experience in school. Our School Attendance Advisors work as a team with students, families, and school districts to insure that attendance is kept a high priority. Interventions range from early contact with students showing irregular attendance patterns to legal involvement with parent/guardian(s) regarding truancy issues.

As with all states in the Union, Oregon has laws relating to attendance, Chapter 339 in Oregon Revised Statutes , and it is the responsibility of the School Attendance Advisor to communicate and enforce the mandatory attendance laws.

Consultation and training are available to school staff on effective strategies and best practices for encouraging regular attendance. We have given verbal presentations both at state and district wide conferences as well as presented at individual school staff meetings. Our School Attendance Advisors can work individually with Principals, Attendance Secretaries, Counselors and Teachers.

School Attendance Staff – Referral for Attendance Services Form:

PDF | Word

Please make sure to attach the attendance information to the referral form prior to sending to the ESD. Send the information via courier to ESD Attendance.

Early Interventions

School Efforts:
School Attendance Advisors are available to meet with school staff regularly to review data and prioritize student needs. Some Districts require certain early interventions by the school before they refer to the School Attendance Advisor including contact by a school staff (teacher, counselor, attendance secretary, etc.) via written or verbal communication to the student or parent or guardian.

School Attendance Advisor Communication:
The school identifies a concern and the School Attendance Advisor contacts student and/or guardian (ORS 339.055). Barriers to good school attendance are identified and discussed and a network of support is designed with school staff, counselors and parents or guardian(s).

Data Review:
School and the School Attendance Advisor continue to monitor attendance through school attendance records.

Referral Services

To receive referral forms, contact your district’s School Attendance Advisor.

School Efforts:
A designated school staff member completes the referral form for any student between the ages of 6 and 18 with detailed information to help expedite contact with the family. It is important for the staff member to note if there are possible risk factors associated with the family that may pose a threat to the School Attendance Advisor, especially when visiting the family’s home. Referrals may consist of excessive excused or unexcused absences, as well as children dropped from the rolls due to ten consecutive days missed. Referrals do not guarantee that legal intervention can proceed. Oregon Law states that only unexcused absences can be legally pursued. To see definitions of excused vs. unexcused absence and support surrounding these definitions, click here.

School Attendance Advisor Communication:
Meet with the student and parent(s) or guardian(s) via phone, school meeting or home visit to gather information or review expectations and propose a plan for success. Plans may include: schedule or placement change, counseling, medical/educational referrals and evaluations, and attendance contracts with student and/or parent(s)/guardian(s).

Data Review:
The school and the School Attendance Advisor continue to monitor attendance through school attendance records and contact is made as needed for praise or re-direction.

Legal Intervention

School Efforts:
Ensure that referral process has already taken place and notify School Attendance Advisors of irregular attendance (for definition see ORS 339.065).

School Attendance Advisor Communication:
Legal intervention ensues with formal written notice ( see ORS 339.080) sent certified and standard mail, to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the truant student. Information provided in the letter explains that it is the parent(s) or guardian(s) responsibility to send and maintain their child in regular attendance for the remainder of the current school year.

If the child and parent(s) or guardian(s) fail to maintain regular attendance after receiving written notice, enforcement of compulsory school attendance law will begin. This includes but is not limited to, a scheduled, mandatory conference with the School Attendance Advisor and school official(s) wherein a citation for failure to comply is discussed (see ORS 339.925).

A citation is issued only after all other interventions have failed. The penalty is a Class C Violation resulting in fines in the amount of, but not limited to, $500.00 including court costs. The School Attendance Advisor or Civil Servant for the county in which the violation has occurred must hand deliver the citation to the defendant as a summons to appear in court.

The parent(s) or guardian(s) (defendant) must then appear on the date noted on the citation, and plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to the courts. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) chooses to plead guilty or no contest, a fine will be assessed. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) chooses to plead not guilty, a court date will be set for the School Attendance Advisor to represent the State of Oregon and prove by the preponderance of the evidence, the parent(s) or guardian(s) is guilty of failing to supervise the student in regular attendance. If the School Attendance Advisor cannot prove by a preponderance of the evidence the case is dropped.

Data Review:
Legal intervention begins again should the child and parent(s) or guardian(s) continue to maintain irregular attendance. No new referral is necessary.