School attendance is not only a good habit, state law requires it. Arizona State Law (15-802.A, 15-803.E) requires every person who has custody of a child between the ages of six and sixteen years shall make sure the child attends school for the full time school is in session unless unable to attend due to illness or another legitimate reason.
To encourage and improve school attendance, Park Meadows has implemented a truancy program in partnership with Maricopa County Juvenile Court. This truancy program is called C.U.T.S. (Court Unified Truancy Suppression). We will be tracking attendance very closely. Your child is expected to be at school every day, unless there is an excused reason not to be. An absence is defined as a minimum of one missed class period per day. An unexcused absence will count as a truant day as defined by law. A student is “habitually truant” if he/she has five or more unexcused absences from school. A student that is absent more than ten percent (18 days) of the required number of school days per year is considered to have “excessive absences” whether the absence is excused or unexcused.
When a student has five or more unexcused absences or 18 excessive absences (excused OR unexcused), the student can be cited to the CUTS Program through the Juvenile Court. The hearing will be held on the school campus with representatives from Park Meadows and the Juvenile Court. A parent or legal guardian must be present with the student at the time of the hearing. Consequences at the hearing may include the following: required attendance of the parent and the child at an education class (to be held on Saturdays), work hours assigned to the child, counseling, etc. The parent will be assessed a Diversion fee. Failure to complete these consequences may result in suspension of your child’s driver’s license, or inability to get a driver’s license until their 18th birthday and/or formal court proceedings. It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to ensure their child’s attendance in an approved academic setting. If you fail to take the necessary steps to provide your child with appropriate education you may receive a citation. If convicted, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by jail time and/or fine.
The education of your child is extremely important to us. This program is another way that Park Meadows is working with the community to ensure a quality education for all students. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Park Meadows Principal at (623) 445-4104.