School Attendance

Chronic absenteeism and tardiness are often stepping stones to dropping out of school before graduation. The purpose of the School Attendance Mediation Program is to identify those students who are at risk of becoming truant so as to reduce truancy and school drop-out rates.

The School Attendance Mediation Program is preventative in nature. The goal of the program is to intervene prior to a student’s becoming truant. The School Attendance Mediation Program is in collaboration and partnership with the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, 7th Probate Court, the prosecuting attorneys, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

To accomplish this objective, Northern Community Mediation (NCM) offers its services to the school districts within the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District (Char-Em ISD). NCM provides non-biased, neutral mediators who facilitate a dialog among the student, the student’s family and the appropriate school personnel. Together, they develop a plan to ensure that the student attends school regularly and / or is not consistently tardy.

Based upon Michigan law, “A parent or other person in parental relation who fails to comply with the Michigan Compulsory School Law is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $5.00 nor more than $50.00, or imprisonment for not less than 2 nor more than 90 days, or both.”

Truancy Statistics

  1. Failure to graduate is associated with diminished earning potential in adulthood.
  2. High school dropouts earn only 65% of the median earnings.
  3. High school dropouts have only a 52% employment rate, compared to 71% for high school graduates.
  4. Boys are only slightly more likely to be sent to court for truancy than girls.
  5. Truancy is a particularly good predictor of middle school drug use, often being 4.5% more likely than regular school attenders to smoke marihuana.
  6. For every race and gender group, high school dropouts claim more in government-funded social services expenditures than high school graduates. The average dropout costs more than $20,000 over the course of his or her lifetime.
  7. 41% of prison inmates and 31% of probationers 18 years and older have not graduated from high school or earned a GED, compared with 18% of the general population.