Howard County Truancy Program a Success

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Last year, kids skipping out on class in Howard County became such a huge problem that school officials had to take matters into their own hands, and they started a program to keep kids in class.

This is the first year that Howard County implemented the new truancy program and once the program was up and running, school officials realized the problem revolved around parents and students. 

The program kicked off at the beginning of last year with 91 student referrals from the court. 50% percent of those kids completed the program successfully. 27 parents also got tickets for their kids not attending school, and they were also required to complete a truancy program which only 66% successfully finished.

The program tried to find out the reasons behind kids skipping class and what could be done to help, and Howard County Officials feel like the inaugural year was a success.

"It does create an expense, so it needs to show results and I think it has showed that this year, and we are looking forward to next year," Debbie Jensen with the Howard County Dispute Resolution Office, said.

Next year, school officials hope to prevent any students from getting sent to the court room.

In the meantime, they are working on some changes and adding more mentors to their program. 

Howard County Commissioners will vote later this summer on whether the County will continue the fund the program next year.