Truancy is a concern for all grade levels of all schools. According to Capps (2003) the average student misses thirteen days of school each year. Many students entering middle school have already accumulated 180 days of questionable absences, the equivalent of a full year of school. Studies of school dropouts show students begin distancing themselves from school at an early age. These students are absent more often than other students as early as the first grade (Epstein & Sheldon, 2002). There is a pattern of increasing absenteeism throughout a student’s entire school career. It is not too early to begin looking for those patterns in elementary and middle school. The Georgia Department of Education (2003) (GDOE) defines a truant student as “any child subject to compulsory attendance who during the school calendar year has more than five days of unexcused absences” (p. 1). The GDOE Policy Division (2003) reported one third of the state’s middle and high school students were absent 10 or more days in 2002. It also reported approximately 10% of Georgia’s student population is absent 20 or more days per year and 74,000 students are absent on a daily basis.

Author's Biographies

Nanette K. Jackson and Susan Taylor are both enrolled in the Masters of Education Program in School Counseling at Columbus State University.

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