PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Truancy is a problem in major urban areas. In Philadelphia 10,000 students, or 6% of the public school population, have 10 or more unexcused absences. The School District is working with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Family Court to find the reasons.

According to The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, some students are homeless, others have children, care for ailing relatives or siblings or work to make ends meet.

In cases of unexcused absences an automated call is made initially, then a letter is sent home, a home visit follows and a truancy elimination plan is developed with the student and parent, referring services that might help. The DHS partnership focuses primarily on children grades 1-3 and gives support to their families.

The goal is to work with students, provide social services and refer cases to the court only as a last resort.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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