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Truancy initiative increases attendance

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis program meant to keep students from cutting class is working.

That's according to a study on the St. Louis Truancy Initiative conducted by two University of Missouri St. Louis professors.

Professor of Criminology David Curry says he and Professor Scott Decker looked at the attendance records of nearly 1,500 city of St. Louis students who took part in the initiative.

"The majority of all the kids who were in the program, over 60 %, were helped and did improve their attendance at school," Curry said.

Curry says they figured the rate of missed days before a student joined the initiative and compared that to the number of schools days missed after.

"The program saved the schools, by that estimate, 19,000 days of attendance," Curry said.

The students who participate are given access to services through the family court, such as the "Mentoring, Instruction, Nutrition and Esteem" program.

The study followed three school years beginning in 2001-2002.

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