BREADPublic Education Improvement

BREAD pilots Project KEY to reduce school truancy

By June 18, 2006September 8th, 2015No Comments

Columbus, OH – In 2006, BREAD received commitments from County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to convene stakeholders, including local schools and the Juvenile Court to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce truancy (i.e., skipping school). A pilot version of the KEY Truancy Program was implemented in December 2007 and has resulted in over 200 mediations and 150 goal attainments from chronically truant children, reducing chronic truancy by 55% in six schools. In 2010, negotiations with the Columbus City School District led to the expansion of the KEY program to ten schools. In addition to the expansion of a proven truancy-reduction program, BREAD secured an agreement from the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools (CCS) to end the practice of out-of-school suspension as a punishment for truancy. Despite this being against CCS policy, BREAD found that 4,262 such suspensions occurred in the 2008-09 school year. At BREAD’s last Nehemiah Action in May 2014 the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools reported that out-of-school suspensions for truancy was down 65% from the previous year with only 489 incidents resulting in suspension.  The superintendent committed to end the practice entirely in the 2014-15 school year. In May 2015, the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools reported only 30 incidents of out-of-school suspensions for truancy.