Kentucky Court of Justice
Two Campbell County schools designated as pilot sites for new Truancy Diversion Program
Campbell County Middle School in the Campbell County School District and Bellevue High School in the Bellevue School District have been designated as pilot sites for the new Truancy Diversion Pilot Program, which will eventually be available statewide. The Kentucky Court of Justice has announced the creation of the Truancy Diversion Program for students at risk of being charged with a truancy offense and referred to District Court or Family Court.
“Truancy is a serious problem in our schools because it can lead to long-term, negative consequences in adult life," said Circuit Judge, Family Court Division, D. Michael Foellger, who serves Campbell County. “This important program for our youth addresses persistent absenteeism in its early stages and offers the support of a team of professionals in helping students break the pattern of truancy.” Judge Foellger will help oversee the Truancy Diversion Pilot Program in Campbell County Middle School and Bellevue High School. Judge Foellger and his Family Court staff also operate the Truancy Court programs in Dayton Middle School and Newport Middle School.
"The complex problem of school truancy is something the whole community needs to become more informed about,” stated Lt. Col. Mike Wills, principal of Bellevue High School. “It will take the combined efforts of parents, school personnel, social services and the courts to turn this epidemic around."
“We are committed to making this new program work to help young people in Campbell County,” stated Dave Sandlin, principal of Campbell County Middle School.
Students who have missed the number of days allotted for a school period or who have too many unexcused absences are subject to being charged with a truancy offense, which could create a formal court record. Truancy is a status offense, which means it is an act that would not be criminal if committed by an adult.
The program uses a team approach to help students develop good attendance habits and improve their overall educational experience. The team is made up of judges, court designated workers, school counselors, principals, directors of pupil personnel and family resource staff.
The Court Designated Worker Program, under the direction of the Department of Juvenile Services of the Administrative Office of the Courts, will facilitate the Truancy Diversion Pilot Program. Court designated workers will hold weekly meetings with the parents and the student to review attendance records, behavior and grades, and develop a plan for success. Local judges will periodically attend meetings to reinforce the work of the truancy diversion team and offer encouragement and recognition to participating students who are making progress.
The Kentucky General Assembly created the Court Designated Worker Program in 1986 through legislation which provided the services of a court designated worker for each of the 120 counties. Court designated workers process complaints against individuals under the age of 18, and provide redress for offenses without court action and without the creation of a formal court record. The CDW program is overseen by the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is the operational arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of more than 3,400 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.