P.O. BOX 2120



August 12, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Truancy Institute: Positive Ways to Improve School Attendance


In collaboration with the Center for School-Community Collaboration at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Department of Education, Office of Student Services, is pleased to announce a one-day institute on truancy prevention and intervention, Wednesday, September 21, 2005, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Charlottesville. The institute, "Positive Ways to Improve School Attendance," is being provided as a forum for school personnel and juvenile justice groups who work to promote school attendance and prevent dropouts.


The institute will be highlighted by several nationally recognized authorities in truancy prevention including Bill Modzeleski with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. His presentation will focus on "Collaboration at the Federal Level." Dr. Ken Seely with the National Center for School Engagement in Denver, Colorado, will speak about the "Cost Benefit Analysis of Truancy Prevention." The district attorney of Mobile, Alabama, John Tyson, will speak about the "Efforts of Community Agencies to Combat Truancy."


A variety of concurrent sessions will also be offered. They include "Meeting the Requirements for Truancy Intervention in Virginia," to be presented by Dr. Anne Atkinson, president of PolicyWorks, Ltd., and "Strong Community Partnerships to Reduce Truancy" by Jane Moreland, Newport News City public schools. All participants will receive a copy of the new truancy resource publication, Improving School Attendance: A Resource Guide for Virginia Schools.


Early arrivals on the evening of September 20, 2005, will be able to participate in a pre-institute workshop, "Student Assistance Programs That Work." Jo Ann Burkholder of the Roanoke County public schools and the current president of the National Student Assistance Association (NSAA), will conduct the workshop.


The institute is being offered at no charge to participants. Funding for the institute is provided by a federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant, #JE-FX-0051, to the Virginia Department of Education through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Lodging and travel expenses are the responsibilities of the participants. Expenses may be paid from federal funding already available to the school division under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.


Pre-registration is required because meeting room space will be limited to no more than 300 participants. Individuals may register online at: For additional information about the institute, contact the Center for School Community Collaboration at 804-828-1482 (phone) or 800-762-6309 (toll-free). Other questions may be directed to Arlene Cundiff, safe and drug-free schools coordinator, at 804-225-2871 or