Philadelphia School District
School District of Philadelphia
Attendance and Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services
ATIPS (Attendance and Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services)
The ATIPS program is designed to address early truancy issues through prevention and intervention services. The program's goal is to improve and increase student attendance, academic achievement and to keep parents informed of current truancy laws and how they may affect their family. The school district partners with 14 non-profit groups (community-based organizations and communities of faith groups) to hire up to 250 Parent Truant Officers who are trained to conduct home visits to parent/guardians of early-stage truant children. These officers make parents aware of district attendance policies, assess the reasons for student absences and provide them with resource information and referral services.
Truancy Pick-Up Program
In the Truancy Pick-Up Initiative, police stop students who are on public streets or in/around public areas between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM every (non-holiday) weekday during the regular school year. The officer first asks for documentation and checks the student's identification to confirm the student's name and assigned school. If the student does not have documentation, s/he is escorted to their home school, the nearest age-appropriate school or to one of the district's Truancy Support Centers. The school or the truancy center will attempt to contact the parent/guardian of the student as quickly as possible. If the parent/guardian chooses to pick up the child, they may do so. If not, the student remains at the school or truancy center, with some academic support, for the balance of the school day. This program demonstrates the clear educational benefits of returning students to school, and reinforces the idea that the school district monitors its students and cares about the education of every student.
Truancy Support Centers
Any student picked up for being truant and located a distance away from the assigned school is escorted by the police to one of the district's Truancy Support Centers. Upon arrival, the truancy center staff meets with the student, notifies the parent/guardian and informs the school officials of the location of the child. A parent may pick up his/her child at the Truancy Support Center, or if not available to do so, the child will spend the day in the Center. In the Center they receive a lunch and attend classes in Math and English. Students are given a bus token and dismissed at the end of the day. The parents of students with seven or less unexcused absences receive a written notice from the administrative court judge informing them that if the student is picked up for truancy a second time, they will be referred to truancy court. Students who are picked up with eight or more unexcused absences are immediately referred to truancy court.
Project START (Stop Truancy and Recommend Treatment)
In Project START, the district refers students with eight or more unexcused absences to the Department of Human Services and to Family Court. The Department of Human Services, Office of Truancy and Delinquency Prevention, refers those students to providers for assessment and support via Community-Based Prevention Services. The children/families are administratively discharged when they have demonstrated success in resolving the truancy issue. Students who have been served by the Department of Human Services and their providers, but continue to exhibit truant behavior, are referred to Truancy Court.
The district has established a twenty-four hour Bullying/Truancy Hotline, (215) 299-SAFE, which area residents and retailers can use to report students who are truant. District officials also encourage merchants not to serve students during school hours.
- ATIPS Program brochure
- Attendance Improvement and Truancy Prevention Procedures Flowchart
- Parent/Guardian Notice regarding Compulsory Education Attendance Law (in English and Spanish), with required parent signature
- Parent/Guardian Notice regarding district's truancy policies/procedures
- Project START (Stop Truancy And Recommend Treatment) brochure
- Truancy Initiative brochure
- Truancy Pick-Up Initiative brochure
- Zero Tolerance for Truancy bookmark
- 24-hour Hotline to Report Truancy
Delia Reveron, Director
Office of Transition and Alternative Education
Attendance & Truancy Division
The School District of Philadelphia
440 Education Center
440 North Broad Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19130