When a student has a number of unexcused absences, the school begins the process of addressing the issue.
To engage the family and offer available services, schools will contact parents by telephone. After a student has three unexcused absences, the school will send the parents a letter from the principal.
Parent Group Meeting (PGM) and School Team Attendance Review (STAR) meetings
be@school meetings, the Parent Group Meeting (PGM) and School Team Attendance Review (STAR), are interventions offered to eliminate the need for court involvement. Families are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings. Failure to take advantage of these voluntary interventions will more likely result in court involvement if school attendance does not improve. Family attendance at meetings is recorded.
Who can/should attend meetings
Students 12 years of age or older should attend meetings with their parent(s)/guardian(s). Parents are welcome to bring anyone supportive of the family to the meeting. This may include other service providers.
An interpreter can be requested to assist at either the PGM or STAR meeting. Call the be@school line to request an interpreter at least two days before the meeting: 612-348-6041.
Parent Group Meeting (PGM)
When the student has six unexcused absences, the school will make a referral to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. A representative will send a letter to the parents, directing them to attend a Parent Group Meeting (PGM).
At the PGM, a be@school representative will explain compulsory school attendance laws, consequences for unexcused absences, the benefits of education, and the services available to assist families. More detailed information about the PGM, how to schedule an in-person meeting or attend the online PGM is available below.
Educational neglect and truancy report: the STAR meeting
If the student has three additional unexcused absences after the PGM referral, the school will make an educational neglect or truancy report. Families will be directed by mail to contact their assigned community agency and begin case management services.
The next step in the process after the PGM is the STAR meeting (School Team Attendance Review). The goal of the STAR meeting is a specific plan to resolves barriers that are negatively impacting the student’s attendance. Additional information about STAR meetings is explained in the section below.
All educational neglect reports (for students under 12 years old) are sent to Child Protection in the Human Services and Public Health Department.
Students under 12
If the student accrues additional unexcused absences following the STAR meeting, the school will submit another report to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, who will review the report and send it to Child Protection. This will result in a child protection investigation. If additional unexcused absences occur, Child Protection may consult for court involvement.
Students 12 and over
If the student accrues additional unexcused absences following the STAR meeting, the school will submit another report to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, who will decide whether to attempt additional preventive services or file a truancy petition in Juvenile Court. In court, the focus will be upon services and sanctions that promote attendance and educational success for the student (e.g. tutoring, credit recovery, mentoring, be@school @your library, etc.). Parent involvement will be actively pursued. If multiple interventions have been attempted and the child becomes an older truant, services may no longer be offered.