Friday, October 21, 2016

Volunteer Opportunity: Serve on new Community Truancy Boards

B, Yoder's note:  I'm attending the November 1st session at the Redmond H.S. library.  Anyone want to join me? 

Redmond, Wash. –  Community Truancy Boards are an approach to reducing student absences. Lake Washington School District is forming new Community Truancy Boards. The district seeks 40 community members to serve on two boards. One board will cover the Eastlake and Redmond areas. The other will cover the Juanita and Lake Washington areas.
The mission of Community Truancy Boards is to improve attendance and school engagement. They find positive solutions to the reasons for each student’s absences. Community Truancy Boards help families address obstacles that prevent students from attending school.
Washington’s truancy law, often called “the Becca Bill,” is intended to stop absenteeism before it becomes a problem. If a student does not attend school, the law requires the school district to take action. A new law requires Community Truancy Boards as a middle step before formal legal action. Each Community Truancy Board will be made up of educators and community members.
Interested volunteers must attend an information session to apply. Here is the schedule of information sessions:
  • Thursday, October 27 from 5-7 p.m., Lake Washington High School library
  • Thursday, October 27 from 5-7 p.m., Eastlake High School library
  • Tuesday, November 1 from 6-8 p.m., Redmond High School library
  • Thursday, November 3 from 5-7 p.m., Juanita High School library
Training sessions will be held in November prior to serving on a board. Volunteers will receive training in identification of barriers to school attendance. They will learn how to assess specific student needs and learn evidence-based treatments that have been found effective in supporting at-risk youth and their families. They will also learn about services available in the community.
The Community Truancy Boards will begin in January. Each session will include four to five volunteers. Upon selection, volunteers will be asked to participate in at least one Community Truancy Board session per month during the school year.
To sign up for an information session, contact Chris Robison at 425-936-1270 or via email at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks they want to participate in this program should be sure to read Chapter 28A.255 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).

Make sure that you ask to see the district's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the juvenile court. Ask who will be in charge from the school district and find out if that person is even qualified to act in that capacity. Find out what kind of liability insurance the district will provide for community truancy board members and what laws protect each child and his/her privacy.

As with so many issues in this school district, the administration relies on community task forces to do their work. Far too often, the school district provides minimal, inadequate information and preparation for committee members and the results are lukewarm and often useless. The Community Truancy Board sounds constructive and promising, but in the hands of this school district, it could be devastating and destructive for students and for community volunteers. This is a minefield that volunteers should step into carefully.