Truancy Policies Vary Slightly Among Winnebago County Schools

The North Iowa Community School District recently published a new set of guidelines on truancy. The issue was addressed by the North Iowa Community School Board and Superintendent Joe Erickson who felt that a strong set of standards need to be set.

The district has ruled that if a student misses ten or more days of noncontinuous days of school, an attendance contract must be drawn up between the district, the student, and his or her parents. If the student breaks the contract by missing further days of school, their name will be submitted to the Winnebago County Attorney for possible truancy action.

This is contingent on a number of factors such as medical excuses like hospitalization, severe illness, and other factors that would be taken into consideration by the district and by the County Attorney. However, some parents are not satisfied with the ruling. They say that the district is unfairly discriminating against their students because other districts in Winnebago County allegedly don’t follow the same regulations.

That is Forest City Community School District, Superintendent Darwin Lehmann who says that his district follows very similar rules to that of the North Iowa Community School District.

For Lake Mills Community Schools, the process follows a similar route.

In general, Winnebago County school districts make genuine efforts to keep students in school. For almost every school district, it is a three-tiered process with the final tier involving the county attorney.  North Iowa Schools Superintendent Joe Erickson describes his third-tier approach.

Area school districts are compelled to have students attend a specific number of hours in a year in order to comply with graduation requirements at all grade levels. As a result, truancy standards and attendance contracts are put in place to try and ensure these state requirements are met.


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