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Project PACT: Partnering To Assess and Counteract Truancy Program and Student Success Stories

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2005
6 pages
Project PACT (Prevent and Counteract Truancy) is a school-based program that works with students and their families in two partnering elementary schools in Waianae, a high-poverty area on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
The program is staffed by school counselors, social workers, and school attendance officers. The school attendance officers are the core of the program. They live in the community served by the school and have the respect and confidence of the students. The attendance officer often becomes the caring adult that some students lack at home, and they focus on cultivating resourceful relationships with students and their parents. Attendance officers work with teachers and counselors in their schools to identify students with attendance problems. The school is responsible for contacting the parents. Initial contacts inform the parents of Hawaii's school attendance law and the consequences for violating it. If absences continue, a school team that consists of the attendance officer, a school counselor, and a social worker discusses the needs of the family. Parents are then referred to appropriate community resources and services. As a last resort, the team submits a petition to the court for educational neglect. Outcome data for 102 students as of August 2005 show that on average the students improved their attendance. Unexcused absences at intake averaged 19.55, decreased to 9.72 3 months later, and then dropped to 5.03 at 6 months. Tardies and excused absences also declined.

Date Published: September 1, 2005