School attendance is mandatory in the state of Minnesota. It is important for children to acquire the necessary skills to become successful adults.
Studies show a link between truancy and criminal activity, which can have a negative ripple effect on a person's future opportunities. By addressing truancy, we can improve the lives of our children and give them a chance to choose a better path.
The Anoka County Attorney’s Office Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) is designed to provide children and families with resources and information to address issues underlying truancy. The program utilizes multiple phases with the aim of keeping the child out of the court system.
The success of the truancy program relies on collaboration between the County Attorney’s Office, school officials, law enforcement, corrections and social services, as well as families.
The ultimate goal is to get kids off the streets, out of juvenile court, and back in school. It gives kids a better chance at life and benefits all of us as a community.
- At three unexcused absences, schools are required to send a three-day notification letter home regarding truancy. The school is required to make efforts to resolve attendance issues with the family. At six unexcused absences, the school is required to submit a referral to the Anoka County Attorney's Office.
- When the school reports to the Attorney's Office at six unexcused absences, each truancy referral will be reviewed to determine if a student is eligible for the intervention program. If eligible, the Attorney's Office will send a letter to parent(s) inviting them and their student to attend a Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) meeting. At this meeting, an Attorney's Office representative will explain attendance laws and consequences of continued unexcused absences and the benefit of education.
- If unexcused absences continue after the TIP meeting, the school is required to make a second report to the Attorney's Office. A minimum of nine unexcused absences is required for the student to be referred to Anoka County Juvenile Corrections. Corrections will send a letter to parent(s) notifying that Corrections is now monitoring the student’s attendance. If unexcused absences continue, Corrections will send a letter inviting the parent(s) and child to attend a Diversion Hearing. Historically, a probation officer, student, parent(s) and school official attend this hearing. An evaluation is completed, and goals are set to address the unexcused absences. At this time, the student is under a signed contract and the probation officer will have contact with the school to monitor attendance.
- Juvenile Corrections will refer a student back to the Attorney's Office for petition if unexcused absences continue after the diversion hearing.
- At this time, the Attorney's Office will file a petition with the courts. The student must have a minimum of 14 unexcused absences to be formally petitioned. Once a student is petitioned, parent(s) will receive a Notice of Hearing notifying of their child's court date.
Truancy Program Brochure:
If you receive a letter invitation to a TIP meeting, student and parent/guardian should report to the main office of school listed on the letter. The school will report as to where the meeting is being held within the building. Be sure to check in with ACAO representative once arrived, so that your student receives credit for attending the meeting. To receive credit for attending the meeting, the student must be present, along with a parent. Late arrivals will not receive credit for attending the meeting.
TIP meetings are held in a group format, with a presentation and time for questions after. The TIP meeting typically runs about 30 minutes, however we ask that parent and child plan for at least 45 minutes in case there are additional questions that need to be addressed after the meeting.
If you are unable to attend the TIP meeting you have been scheduled for, please call the ACAO Truancy Coordinator at 763-324-5413 no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
Minnesota Statute Section 260A.02 Subd. 3: Continuing truant. "Continuing truant" means a child who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of section 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in a school, as defined in section 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for:
- Three days if the child is in elementary school; or
- Three or more class periods on three days if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school.
Minnesota Statute Section 260C.007, Subd. 19: Habitual Truant. A child is considered a “habitual truant” if she or he is under the age of 17 years and is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for seven school days per school year if the child is in elementary school or for one or more class period on seven school days per school year if the child is in middle school, junior high school or high school or a child is 17 years of age who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for one or more class periods on seven school days per school year and who has not lawfully withdrawn from school under section 120A.22, Subd. 8.
Minnesota Statute Section 120A.22, Subd. 8: Withdrawal from school. For any student who is 17 years old who seeks to withdraw from school, and the student's parent or guardian must:
- Attend a meeting with school personnel to discuss the educational opportunities available to the student, including alternative educational opportunities; and
- Sign a written election to withdraw from school.
The following list includes resources in and near Anoka County. But this list is not exhaustive, and we encourage you to explore other options beyond those known to our office.
- Anoka County Human Services
- Children’s Mental Health Services (local providers listed below)
- Chemical Dependency (local providers listed below)
- Child Protection
- Anoka County Community Action Program Resource Guide
- Family Homelessness
- Youth Homelessness:
- School Districts in Anoka County
- Truancy Intervention Program brochure
- Accessible Version Truancy Intervention Program Brochure
- Minnesota School Absenteeism and Truancy Policies: A Report to Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
COUNSELING SERVICE PROVIDERS
ABC Family Counseling: 763-227-8076 www.abcfamilycounseling.com • 229 Jackson St, Ste. 136, Anoka.
Affiliated Counseling Center: 763-572-2605 www.mncousneling.com • 7620 University Ave NE, Ste. 235, Fridley.
CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio): www.clues.org • St. Paul, 651-379-4200 / Minneapolis, 612-746-3500 / West St. Paul, 651-379-4280.
Family-Based Therapy Associates: www.familybasedtherapyassociates.com • Coon rapids, 763-780-2114 / Cambridge, 763-689-9407 / Chisago City, 651-257-2783.
Family Partnership: 763-560-4412 www.thefamilypartnership.org • 6900 78th Ave N, Brooklyn Park.
Family Innovations, Inc.: 763-421-5535 • 1833 3rd Ave, Anoka.
Family Life Mental Health Centers: 763-427-7964 www.flmhc.org • 1930 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids.
Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being: 763-780-3036 www.ccffr.org • 7954 University Ave NE, Fridley.
Lutheran Social Services Metro Counseling and Family Resources: 612-879-5320 www.issmn.org • 11115 Hanson Blvd NW, Coon Rapids.
Mercy Hospital Adult Psychiatry: 763-236-8500
Northland Therapy Center: 651-641-1009
North Suburban Counseling Center: 763-784-3008 www.northsuburbancounselingcenter.com • 425 Coon Rapids Blvd, Ste. 220, Coon Rapids.
Nystrom & Associates. Ltd.: www.nystromscounseling.com • Coon Rapids, 763-767-3350 / Otsego, 763-746-9492 / Maple Grove, 763-274-3120.
People Incorporated Mental Health Services: 651-774-0011 www.peopleincorporated.org • 2060 Center Pointe Blvd, Ste. 3, St. Paul.
Resource Center for Fathers and Families: 763-783-4938 www.resourcesforfathers.org • 1201 89th Ave NE, Ste. 224, Blaine.
Volunteers of America Bar None: 763-252-4541 www.voamnwi.org/bar-none • 22426 St. Francis Blvd, Anoka.
Watershed Psychological Services: 763-703-3754 www.watershedpsych.com • 4255 Pheasant Ridge Dr, Ste. 412, Blaine.
ADOLESCENT CHEMICAL HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDERS
Anthony Louis Center: 763-757-2906 http://www.anthonylouiscenter.com/blaine • 1000 Paul Pkwy NW, Blaine.
Dellwood Recovery Center: 763-688-7723 https://www.allinahealth.org/cambridge-medical-center/services/addiction/adolescent-treatment-programs • 522 11th Ave SW, Cambridge.
Endeavor Place, LLC: 218-445-1466 http://www.endeavorplace.com • 21539 120th St, Verndale.
Fairview Riverside Program: 612-672-2736 https://www.fairview.org/Locations/University-of-Minnesota-Medical-Center-West-Bank-Hospital/East-Building-University-of-Minnesota-Medical-Center • 2450 Riverside Ave S, Minneapolis.
Grace Counseling Services: 763-413-8838 • 21471 Ulysses St NE, East Bethel.
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: 763-509-3800 https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/locations/plymouth • 11505 36th Ave N, Plymouth.
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: 763-420-4680 https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/locations/maple-grove • 7001 E. Fish Lake Rd, Maple Grove.
Maple Lake Recovery: 651-338-3317 https://mlrecovery.org • 207 Division St E, PO Box 308, Maple Lake.
Nystrom and Associates: 651-419-5113 https://www.nystromcounseling.com • Locations: Apple Valley, Duluth, Eden Prairie, New Brighton, St. Cloud, Otsego, Woodbury.
Omegon: 952-541-4738 https://www.voamnwi.org/omegon • 2000 Hopkins Crossroads, Minnetonka.
Behavioral Health Services: 651-769-6250 https://www.bhsiclinics.com 6401 University Ave, Fridley.
It is our belief that the Truancy Intervention Program is a partnership between schools, county and community. It is imperative to our program that schools are highly involved throughout all phases of intervention. We see schools as the most influential component of truancy intervention.
All truancy referrals must be submitted online via CIBERLaw: Link to CIBERLaw (for schools)
Contact the County Attorney's Truancy Coordinator with any questions: 763-324-5413
"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it."
-Marian Wright Edelman, first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar and founder of the Children's Defense Fund