County ESC provides resources to help address excessive absences

Photo of community resource coordinator Doug FlammThanks to grant dollars awarded to the Clermont County Educational Service Center, the New Richmond Exempted Village School District now has a full-time person to address truancy and the fundamental issues that cause excessive absences in our schools.

Doug Flamm was hired by the county to serve as a Community Resource Coordinator in New Richmond Schools. In this role, Mr. Flamm will meet with students who are frequently absent and their families to connect them with resources they might need to eliminate barriers to school attendance. Mr. Flamm will engage community and county resources with our mental health team to address obstacles that are preventing school attendance.

Additionally, for especially challenging cases which lead to truancy filings with the courts, the county is also providing a second part-time Community Resource Coordinator, Nick Ayers, to assist.

Mr. Flamm said that he hopes to keep “our students in school, which I believe will give them a better future. I look forward to working with New Richmond staff and families in providing services and resources to help students be successful.”

If a student is not attending school, there’s usually a reason why, Director of Student Services, John Frye, said. 

“Our focus is, with Mr. Flamm’s help, to bridge the gap and to help align resources to get those students in school,” he said.

Studies show that patterns of habitual school absences start as early as first grade. Engaging in truant behavior is strongly correlated with school dropout. Additionally, truant students are four times as likely to report committing a serious assault, five times more likely to report committing a serious property crime, and two times more likely to be arrested than peers who attend school regularly.

We know that missing too much school has long-term, negative effects on students, such as lower achievement and graduation rates. The goal is to get these students back in school and learning, Superintendent Tracey Miller said. 

We are hopeful that, with this generous support from the county educational service center, we will see a reduction, and maybe eventually elimination of habitually absent students, he added.

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