Anoka County Collaborative Attendance Program

A collaborative effort to overcome barriers and achieve consistent attendance for every student.

Steps to Make a Collaborative Attendance Program Referral

The law presumes that it is a parental responsibility to ensure attendance for children age 11 and younger. State law allows for school districts, county attorneys, and law enforcement to establish programs and coordinate them with other community-based diversion services to provide the necessary and most effective interventions for children and their families. The matter will be referred to Child Protection and/or Criminal and/or Juvenile Court if families do not participate in this program or there are ongoing unexcused absences. The school is required to make initial efforts to remedy attendance issues with the parents and student (phone calls, meeting with parents, letters, etc).

  • The school documents their efforts to resolve the attendance issues with the family. Students must have at least 6 unexcused absences from an academic period (not homeroom, lunch, after school activities). Typically, tardies do not equal truancy unless noted by school or district policy.
  • Complete the Educational Neglect Diversion referral form [online form]
  • Complete and send a letter to parents to inform them that participation in this meeting is required in order to take advantage of the Collaborative Attendance Program and avoid Child Protection and/or Criminal Court involvement. View Parent Letter example.
  • The Anoka County social worker will contact the school administrator to arrange a meeting time and will then notify the family of this meeting by mail and or phone.
  • At the meeting, the school administrator and an Anoka County social worker will be present to meet with the parent(s)/guardian(s) to discuss the issues surrounding the child(ren)’s truancy. The group will come to terms on a diversion contract. The parent(s)/ guardian(s) will be informed of the law and the consequences for not keeping their child(ren) in school.
  • The school administrator will continue to monitor the child(ren)’s attendance and provide notice to the Anoka County social worker of any additional absences or concerns.

Collaborative Attendance Program FAQ For Schools {collapse}

  1. What is the age of students eligible for the program?{cc1}

    Students between the age of 5 and 11 who are enrolled in school.

  2. What students are not served by this program?{cc2}

     Students 12 years and older. If an elementary school student is 12-years-old, they are subject to truancy laws rather than educational neglect. If a student experiencing attendance concerns is 12 or older please call the Anoka County Collaborative Attendance Program at 763-324-5413.

  3. When should a report be sent to Diversion? {cc3}

    A referral to the Anoka County Collaborative Attendance program can be made once a child has at least 6 unexcused absences. This can be found on the Anoka County Child Protection website.

  4. What occurs once a referral is made? {cc4}

    The school will send a letter to the parent informing them a referral was made. The Anoka County social worker will coordinate the meeting with the school administrator and will notify the parents of the date and time. State law requires that parents be provided at least 5 days’ notice prior to the meeting. Minnesota Statute 260A.07 subd. 2.

  5. What occurs during the meeting? {cc5}

    • It is expected that a school administrator, Anoka County social worker and at least one parent/guardian will attend the meeting.
    • Generally, children do not participate in the diversion meeting, as the parent is responsible for the child's attendance. Older students may be asked to participate as appropriate.
    • At the meeting, the reasons for the unexcused absences will be addressed. This will include identifying barriers for the parent/child/family, and find ways to resolve those concerns. The parent will be reminded of the school attendance laws and possible child protection and/or criminal involvement because of educational neglect. A contract will be signed as a formal commitment to ensure the child's attendance as well as to outline other requirements and/or services required.

  6. What occurs after the meeting? {cc6}

    The child's attendance will be monitored for the rest of the school year. The school administrator will inform the Anoka County social worker by email or phone if the student has additional unexcused absences. If attendance continues to be an issue, a referral will be made to child protection for a child maltreatment assessment.

  7. Who is responsible for making arrangements for interpreters?{cc7}

    It is the responsibility of school administrators to make arrangements for an interpreter or any other accommodations required by the family to facilitate the meeting.