P. O. BOX 2120

October 8, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Truancy and Compulsory School Attendance

This memo is to bring to your attention legislation enacted 
by the 1999 General Assembly that amends the Code of 
Virginia related to truancy and compulsory school 
attendance (22.1-258) and reporting requirements for 
nonattendance (22.1-260 subsection B). A copy of the bill 
is attached for your information.

HB 1817 amends the Code in the following ways:

*Requires principals or their designees, after a pupil has 
been absent for five days for the school year without 
indication of the parent's awareness and support of such 
absence, to make a reasonable effort to ensure that 
direct contact is made with the parent to obtain an 
explanation for the nonattendance and explain to the 
parents the consequences of continued nonattendance.

*Requires a conference to be scheduled within ten school 
days, after the pupil accumulates six absences in the 
school year, to resolve issues related to the pupil's 
nonattendance. The pupil's parent and school personnel 
shall participate in the conference. The conference shall 
be held no later than fifteen school days after the sixth 

*Empowers attendance officers to enforce these new 
provisions by making a complaint with the juvenile and 
domestic relations court, alleging the student is a child 
in need of supervision or instituting proceedings against 
the parent relating to violations of the compulsory 
school attendance law (18.2-371 or 22.1-262), when the 
child has accumulated seven absences in the school year.

*Directs principals to report annually to the division 
superintendent the number of pupils by grade level for 
whom a conference between the pupil, the pupil's parent 
and school personnel has been scheduled. The division 
superintendent shall report this information annually to 
the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Attached is a table identifying the data that you should 
maintain to comply with the provisions of this legislation. 
The actual collection of the data will be part of the 
annual school report, statistical section.  Do not return 
the table.

If you have questions, please contact William Stallings at 
(804)371-2413 or


Attachment:     A hard copy of this memo and its attachment 
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.