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Dotting I’s and Crossing Absentees: West Virginia’s Professional Charter School Board reviews truancy procedures

By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With all eyes on the relationship between home school students, county school systems, and state compulsory attendance requirements, the board that governs public charter schools in West Virginia received a briefing on how charter schools handle truancy issues.

During its regular virtual monthly meeting Wednesday morning, the Professional Charter School Board received a briefing on how the state’s four brick-and-mortar public charter schools and two statewide virtual public charter schools track unexcused absences and report those to county school systems.

James Paul, the executive director of the Professional Charter School Board, explained that the PCSB bylaws require all public charter schools to have policies in their bylaws regarding unexcused absences in compliance with State Code and compulsory school attendance laws.

Three unexcused absences in a row require the public charter school to make meaningful contact with the student and their family and determine steps to help the student fall back into compliance. Five unexcused absences trigger another meeting between the public charter school and the family.

Once the student reaches 10 unexcused absences, the public charter school is required to make contact with the county school system and/or a county attendance director to organize a home visit or take further legal actions.

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