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27% of Appleton Area School District high school students “habitually truant” over past semester

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — More than 25 percent of high school students in the Appleton Area School District were considered “habitually truant” in the past semester.

That means that 27-percent of high schoolers in the district had at least five unexcused absences.

Sheree Garvey, School Climate Transformation Grant Project Director, told Local 5 over the phone that this is the first semester that data has been collected in this way, so the district cannot compare it to semesters past.

What is also different this school year is the way Appleton is responding to truancy.

Students considered truant were referred to truancy court in years past, but Appleton’s Common Council ended that practice in August 2019 with a vote to repeal the district’s truancy ordinance.

A task force has been formed to intervene in cases of truancy, and officials on that task force told Local 5 today that it’s going to take some time to determine how effective those interventions are.

Truancy numbers for the school year’s first semester will be further discussed by the School Board in an open meeting on February 24th.

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