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RULE §129.1045Best Practices

(a) A school district shall consider the following best practices for truancy prevention measures.

  (1) Develop an attendance policy that clearly outlines requirements related to truancy in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 25, Subchapter C, and communicate this information to parents at the beginning of the school year.

  (2) Create a culture of attendance that includes training staff to talk meaningfully with students and parents about the attendance policy and the root causes of unexcused absences.

  (3) Create incentives for perfect attendance and improved attendance.

  (4) Educate students and their families on the positive impact of school attendance on performance.

  (5) Provide opportunities for students and parents to address causes of absence and/or truancy with district staff and link families to relevant community programs and support.

  (6) Develop collaborative partnerships, including planning, referral, and cross-training opportunities, between appropriate school staff, attendance officers, program-related liaisons, and external partners such as court representatives, community and faith-based organizations, state or locally funded community programs for truancy intervention or prevention, and law enforcement to assist students.

  (7) Determine root causes of unexcused absences and review campus- and district-level data on unexcused absences to identify systemic issues that affect attendance.

  (8) Use existing school programs such as Communities In Schools, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Restorative Discipline, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to provide students and their parents with services.

  (9) At the beginning of each school year, conduct a needs assessment and identify and list, or map, services and programs available within the school district and the community that a school, a student, or a student's parent or guardian may access to address the student's barriers to attendance and make the information available to staff, students, and parents. The information must include, but is not limited to:

    (A) services for pregnant and parenting students;

    (B) services for students experiencing homelessness;

    (C) services for students in foster care;

    (D) federal programs including, but not limited to, Title 1, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;

    (E) state programs including, but not limited to, State Compensatory Education programs;


dropout prevention programs and programs for "at risk" youth;

    (G) programs that occur outside of school time;

    (H) counseling services;

    (I) tutoring programs and services available at no or low cost;

    (J) mental health services;

    (K) alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs;

    (L) mentoring programs and services;

    (M) juvenile justice services and programs;

    (N) child welfare services and programs;

    (O) other state or locally funded programs for truancy prevention and intervention; and

    (P) other supportive services that are locally available for students and families through faith-based organizations, local governments, and community-based organizations.

  (10) After identifying and listing, or mapping, services available in the district and community, school districts should target any new resources, programs, or services to gaps in services identified during the needs assessment.

  (11) School districts should ensure that personnel, including truancy prevention facilitators or juvenile case managers, attendance officers, McKinney-Vento liaisons, foster care liaisons, Title IX coordinators, 504 coordinators, pregnancy and parenting coordinators, dropout prevention coordinators, special education staff, and other appropriate student services personnel, meet to contribute to the needs assessment, discuss opportunities to work together, and identify strategies to coordinate both internally and externally to address students' attendance barriers.

(b) In determining services offered to students identified in TEC, §25.0915(a-3), a school district shall consider:

  (1) offering an optional flexible school day program and evening and online alternatives;

  (2) working with businesses that employ students to help students coordinate job and school responsibilities; and

  (3) offering before school, after school, and/or Saturday prevention or intervention programs or services that implement best and promising practices.

Source Note: The provisions of this §129.1045 adopted to be effective January 1, 2017, 41 TexReg 10278

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