Jefferson County Leaders Discuss Truancy Challenges

FAIRBURY – Officials from Jefferson County held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss solutions to truancy in the county.

About 30 people attended the meeting, including Jefferson County Commissioners, the county attorney, administrators from Fairbury, Meridian and Tri County schools and various organizations that provide support services.

Right now 83 juveniles are in Jefferson County’s truancy program at some level. Judge Linda Bauer partially attributed the increase to the Nebraska Legislature raising the compulsory education age from 16 to 18.

:37     “…with these issues.”

Commissioner Mark Schoenrock said Jefferson County has a number of programs to deal with truancy, but coordination between them needs to improve.

:21     “…to its success.”

Fairbury Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Grizzle said there’s no one solution to keeping kids in school.

:18     “…a multi-pronged approach.”

The county has been collaborating with the people who oversee Seward County’s truancy program to address the issue in Jefferson County. Meridian Superintendent Randy Kort says those efforts have made a difference.

:32     “…I appreciate that.”

Consensus among those in attendance was that better communication and coordination is needed among the existing programs and resources. Shoenrock said commissioners are considering hiring someone to oversee those efforts.

:35     “…are out there.”

The position will be further discussed at the next regular meting of the Jefferson County Commissioners on Tuesday.

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