- County Attorney
- School Attendance
School Attendance is Required By Law
Minnesota law requires that every child between 7 and 16 years of age must receive an education.
Minnesota State Statute (120) requires that children attend school from age 7, or upon enrollment in school, until age 18. A student is required to attend school each and every day and every class period. If a student misses a school day, or part of a school day for legitimate reasons, a parent or guardian must notify the school.
For students that are 12 and older, it is primarily the student's responsibility to attend school, and the parent's responsibility to compel their child to attend school.
All students who miss one or more class periods over seven different days without a legal excuse are considered "habitual truants."
Truancy is often an indicator for more serious underlying problems such as alcohol or chemical use, family problems, physical or mental health issues, peer pressure, bullying and/or child neglect.
Students who are habitual truants, and their parents, can be petitioned to court to address the truancy problem. However, a variety of interventions and services are offered prior to bringing a truancy case to court.
Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM)
The Washington County Attorney's Office holds Attendance Intervention Meetings. This is the first step of progressive intervention and services offered to support families and children in keeping children in school and combating truancy.
The middle schools and high schools track students' attendance. When a student between the ages of 12-17 has missed one or more class periods on three different days without a lawful excuse, they meet the definition of "continuing truant". The schools notify the County Attorney's Office when they have a "continuing truant" student. The County Attorney's Office then sends the student and their parents a letter inviting them to attend the AIM.
The AIM is designed to send a message to students and their parents about the pitfalls of continuing to truant, as well as the importance of high school graduation and beyond. The truancy court process is explained including what actions the court can take directing the behavior of the students as well as the parents. This information is given in an effort to motivate the parents and students to seek services to avoid court and correct the problems resulting in the unexcused absences. Resources for services are provided to the parents and school officials are also present to answer questions.
The meeting is sponsored by the Washington County Attorney's Office and is held October through May from 6 - 7:00 p.m. two times per month at two locations:
14949 62nd Street North
Stillwater, MN 55082
Cottage Grove Service Center
13000 Ravine Parkway South
Cottage Grove, MN 55016