Maine Revised Statutes

§5051-A. Truancy

1. Truant.  A student is truant if the student is subject to section 5001-A and:
B. Has completed grade 6 and has the equivalent of 10 full days of unexcused absences or 7 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year; or [2007, c. 304, §5 (AMD).]
C. Is at least 7 years of age and has not completed grade 6 and has the equivalent of 7 full days of unexcused absences or 5 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during a school year. [2007, c. 304, §5 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD) .]
2. Procedures; written notice; referral.  This subsection governs the procedure to be followed when a student is truant.
A-1. The principal, upon determining that a student is truant under subsection 1, shall notify the superintendent of the student's truancy within 5 school days of the last unexcused absence. [2011, c. 614, §13 (NEW).]
A-2. A student who is determined truant under subsection 1 must be referred to the school's student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system under section 4710 to determine the cause of the truancy and assess the effect of the student's absences, as well as any future absences for the student. If it is determined that a negative effect exists, the student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system under section 4710 shall develop an intervention plan to address the student's absences and the negative effect of these absences. An intervention plan may include, but is not limited to:
(1) Frequent communication between the teacher and the family;
(2) Changes in the learning environment;
(3) Mentoring;
(4) Student counseling;
(5) Tutoring, including peer tutoring;
(6) Placement into different classes;
(7) Consideration of multiple pathways as described under section 4703;
(8) Attendance contracts;
(9) Referral to other agencies for family services; and
(10) Other interventions, including, but not limited to, referral to the school attendance coordinator, student assistance team or dropout prevention committee.
Failure of the student or the student's parents to appear at scheduled meetings does not preclude the school administrators from implementing an intervention plan to address the student's truancy. [2011, c. 614, §13 (NEW).]
B-1. The superintendent shall develop procedures to refer a student who is truant to the student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system under section 4710 in accordance with this section. These procedures may include, but are not limited to:
(1) Identifying school personnel responsible for notifying the student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system when a student is truant;
(2) A process for referral of a student who is truant, including identifying school personnel responsible for inviting the parents and the student to participate in any meeting that results from this referral;
(3) A timeline for setting up a meeting and developing an intervention plan under paragraph A-2;
(4) A plan for dealing with future absences of a student who is truant; and
(5) A plan for reporting of the results of the intervention plan developed pursuant to paragraph A-2. [2011, c. 614, §13 (NEW).]
C. If the intervention plan developed pursuant to paragraph A-2 is unable to correct the truancy of the child, the superintendent shall serve or cause to be served upon the parent in hand or by registered mail a written notice that attendance of the child at school is required by law. The notice must:
(1) State that the student is required to attend school pursuant to section 5001-A;
(2) Explain the parent's right to inspect the student's attendance records, attendance coordinator's reports and principal's reports;
(3) Explain that the failure to send the student to school and maintain the student in regular attendance is a civil violation in accordance with section 5053-A and will jeopardize the student's status in the grade that the student is in;
(4) State that the superintendent may notify the local law enforcement department of a violation of section 5053-A and the Department of Health and Human Services of a violation under subsection 1, paragraph C; and
(5) Outline the plan developed to address the student's truancy and the steps that have been taken to implement that plan. [2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).]
D. Prior to notifying the local law enforcement department under paragraph E, the superintendent shall schedule at least one meeting as required in paragraph B-1 and may invite a local prosecutor. [2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).]
E. If, after 3 school days after service of the notice referred to in paragraph C, the student remains truant and the parent and student refuse to attend the meeting scheduled according to paragraph D, the superintendent shall report the facts of the unlawful absence to the local law enforcement department, which may proceed with an action to enforce section 5053-A against the parent unless the student is at once placed in an appropriate school or otherwise meets the requirements under section 5001-A. [2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).]
F. When a student is determined to be truant and in violation of section 5001-A and the student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system under section 4710 and the superintendent have made a good faith attempt to meet the requirements of paragraph B-1, the superintendent shall notify the school board of the student's truancy. [2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).]
[ 2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD) .]
3. Reports.  This subsection applies to reports of truancy.
A. A superintendent shall submit an annual report to the commissioner before October 1st. The report must:
(1) Identify the number of truants in the school administrative unit in the preceding school year;
(2) Describe the unit's efforts to deal with truancy;
(3) Account for actions brought under this section including the number of truants reported to the student assistance team or the school personnel designated by the superintendent in accordance with the school administrative unit's intervention system under section 4710; and
(4) Include any other information on truancy requested by the commissioner. [2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).]
B. The commissioner shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature before January 15th. The report must aggregate the information provided by superintendents under paragraph A and must evaluate the effect of state laws on the incidence of truancy. [2003, c. 533, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2003, c. 533, §3 (NEW). 2007, c. 304, §§5-7 (AMD). 2011, c. 614, §13 (AMD).

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