Truancy Action Project (TAP)
Removing Barriers to Attendance to Help Duluth Students be More Successful in School and in Life
Truancy Action Project (TAP) student/family advocates work with students and their families to improve attendance, address behavioral or academic concerns, and any other areas of concern. This support allows teachers to stay focused on educating students.
The student/family advocates encourage parent involvement to resolve the barriers their child or family may experience to improve the youth’s school attendance. Together, they identify and remove barriers to school attendance and create an individualized case plan for the student. Student/family advocates often find youth have anger issues or undiagnosed mental health needs. Sometimes, truancy is a result of transportation issues. When appropriate, the student/family advocate will work with the child and/or family to access other community services, such as individual or family counseling, educational testing, psychological evaluations, tutoring or mentoring.
By working collaboratively with students and families, we have been able to improve student attendance and academic performance.
- In the last annual reporting period, 247 students were referred to the Truancy Action Project. * Only 10 TAP students or 4 percent required a referral to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) for further intervention.
- The majority of students working with the Truancy Action Project (85 percent) showed improved attendance, as well as improvement in grades, family relationships, or mental health status.
- Since its inception in 1994, the Truancy Action Project has served more than 4,500 students in Duluth.
Schools identify students who are having difficulties with attendance, behavior, and/or academics and refer them to the Truancy Action Project.
Schools participating in the Truancy Action Project include:
- Lincoln Park Middle School
- Ordean East Middle School
- Denfeld High School
Program funding is provided in part by the United Way of Greater Duluth, the Minnesota Youth Interventions Programs Association (YIPA) and the US Office of Justice.
Heather Jarvis, MSW, LGSW