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Beltrami County Social Services

Truancy Intervention Program

Beltrami County Health and Human Services Truancy Intervention Program partners with schools and families to help increase their students attendance.  School attendance is mandatory in the State of Minnesota.  It is important for children to acquire the necessary skills to become successful adults.  

Research related to school attendance tells us that:  

  • Students who attend school on a regular basis receive higher grades; 
  • Students who graduate from high school have a greater chance of getting a job;  
  • Regularly attending school leads to increased self-esteems and a stronger friend group;  
  • Students who are chronically truancy from school are much more likely to engage in crime, be unemployed, abuse drugs or alcohol, practice risky behaviors  

Students under the age of 12 are considered for Educational Neglect.  To make a report of Educational Neglect, please contact our children's intake team

Students between the ages of 12-16 ½ are referred to our Truancy program.  To make a referral to our truancy program, please complete the Truancy Referral Form and send to

Frequently Asked Questions

The Minnesota law states that: 

Every child between the ages of 7 and 17 must attend school unless he/she has graduated (MN Stat. 120A22, subd.5)  

A student who is 17 must attend school unless the student is formally withdrawn from school by their parent or legal guardian (MN. Stat. 120A22, sub.8).  

A child between the ages of 7 and 17 is considered truant if he or she is absent without an acceptable excuse for three or more days/class periods. Parents are encouraged to talk with their schools directly, review their school handbooks and policies, and ask questions regarding the specific school's attendance policy. (MN. Stat. 120A22, sub.8

Some common acceptable excused absences include:  

  • Sickness 
  • Doctor's visit - verification may be required 
  • Religious holiday  
  • Cultural events  
  • Extreme family emergency  

Some common unacceptable absences include:  

  • Student missed the bus  
  • Student/family overslept  
  • Babysitting siblings/other family members  
  • Work or rest because of work  
  • Travel (unless pre-approved by the school)  
  • Student is needed to be at home  
  • Cold weather – situation depending  

Step One: The school notifies the parent or guardian of the number of unexcused absences the student has.  

Step Two: If there continues to be concerns of the students attendance, the school schedules a student attendance support meeting and informs Beltrami Count  of the meeting to attend.  Parents/guardians and student must attend this meeting where a support plan will be developed.  

Step Three: If there continues to be concerns of the students attendance, the school will send a referral to Beltrami County for an assessment with the family.  The agency may open an assessment following a screening team decision.  

Step Four: If there continues to concerns of the students attendance, Beltrami County may file a CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) petition.  The Courts may find the child in need of services and then monitor attendance, concerns, and court order specific services.  

If a child continues to be truant there are the following possible consequences:  

  • Court CHIPS petition and Court involvement  
  • Court ordered services  
  • Random drug testing  
  • Loss of phone or technology privileges  
  • The parent/guardian may be ordered services  

If the truancy team screens in a referral for your student, you can expect the following: 

  • The case manager completing weekly attendance checks 
  • Attendance support meetings with the school, case manager, and others as necessary 
  • Regular visits with the case manager 
  • Referrals or information on community resources as needed 
  • Creating and agreeing to a case plan 

Contact Us

Social Services
616 America Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Phone: 218-333-4223

Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Mon - Fri

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