The education of our students is extremely important in the Litchfield School District. School attendance is not only a good habit that can help prepare students for future careers, but it is required by state law.
State of Arizona Truancy Laws
The Litchfield Elementary School District Truancy Prevention Unit follows guidelines that mirror statutes set forth in Arizona state law.
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 15-802 states, every child between the ages of six and sixteen years shall attend a school and shall be provided instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science. The person who has custody of the child shall choose a public, private, charter or home school as defined in this section to provide instruction.
A.R.S. 15-803 states, a child who is habitually truant or who has excessive absences may be adjudicated an incorrigible child as defined in section 8-201. Absences may be considered excessive when the number of absent days exceeds ten percent of the number of required attendance days prescribed in section 15-802, subsection B, paragraph 1.
Family Involvement Center: 602-288-0155
Families in Need of Services (FINS): FINS Help Line: 602-506-5913
C.U.T.S. COURT UNIFIED Truancy SUPPRESSION Program
According to Arizona State Law (15-802.E, 15-803), every parent/legal guardian must ensure that children between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) years of age attend school during school hours, unless a child is unable to attend due to illness or another legitimate reason.
To encourage and improve school attendance, Litchfield Elementary School District, in partnership with Maricopa County Juvenile Probation, has implemented a truancy program. This truancy program is called C.U.T.S. (Court Unified Truancy Suppression). C.U.T.S. requires the school to track student attendance closely.
ARIZONA TRUANCY LAWS
Children between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) are required by AZ law to attend school.
Children are allowed to miss eighteen (18) days of school. That's a combination of excused and unexcused absences.
Nineteen (19) absences or more is breaking the law.
Five (5) or more unexcused absences is breaking the law
- Unexcused absences means parents unaware child is not in school (AKA: Ditching)
- An unexcused absence will count as a truant day as defined by law.
- Five (5) or more unexcused absences is breaking the law and could be referred to the court system.
Accompanied by a parent or designee
Documented Chronic Illnesses
If a student has five (5) or more unexcused absences or over eighteen (18) excessive absences (excused and/OR unexcused), the student can be cited to the C.U.T.S. Program through the Juvenile Court.
If a student is cited under this law, a hearing would be held at the Juvenile Court Center. 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
a $50.00 Diversion fee assessed to the parent/guardian
Failure to take the necessary steps to ensure that your child attends school on a regular basis may result in a citation. If convicted, this violation is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by fine and/or jail time. Your support and commitment to ensuring that your child comes to school when s/he is well enough to do so is essential.
This program is one way the Litchfield Elementary School District is working with parents and the community to ensure a quality education for all students.