Truancy and Educational Neglect

Isanti County Probation Department and Family Services has an established habitual truancy/educational neglect referral process based upon MN Statute 260C.007, subdivision 19.    It defines a habitual truant as "a child under the age of 17 years who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse.”

Missed Number of Classes/Days

The following is the statute criteria regarding missed classes/days for various school levels:

  • Elementary School:  A child must have missed seven days of school that are unexcused by the school.
  • Middle, Junior High, and Senior High School:  A youth must have missed one or more class periods that are unexcused by the school for seven school days.
  • Youth ages 16 or 17:  The youth must have missed one or more class periods that are unexcused by the school for seven days and the youth has not lawfully withdrawn from school per MN Statute 120A.22, subdivision 8

Educational Neglect

Children ages 11 and under:  There are two criteria that must be met in determining a child has been subjected to educational neglect.  The first is the number of missed classes or school days.  The second is the efforts the school has made to work with the parents to address the problem.  It is presumed that the cause for a child missing school of this age is the parent’s, guardian’s, or custodian’s failure to comply with the compulsory instruction laws, and the school has made appropriate efforts to resolve the child’s attendance problems. 


Children ages 12 and up:  It is presumed that the cause of the absence is due to the child’s intent to be absent from school. 

Additional Criteria to be Met:

Thorough completion of the referral form accompanied by a copy of the child’s attendance record and detailed documentation of how the absences have impacted the child’s academic performance.

  1. A child who is a “habitual truant” must have at least seven truancies within a 90 day period, two of which must have occurred within the past 30 days. 
  2. Documentation must clarify which absences are unexcused or considered truancies.  This is important as excused absences are not considered when determining if educational neglect has occurred or a student is a “habitual truant.”  Please include reasons for the truancy or unexcused absence.
  3. The school must have attempted at least two parent/child conferences prior to the referral.  The results of the meetings (or attempts at scheduling meetings) must be documented.  This includes documentation of what was discussed and what plan was developed to alleviate the attendance concern.
  4. All school resources should have been attempted prior to referral (i.e. school counselors or school social worker intervention, etc.)

How to Make a Report

Complete the Isanti County Truancy/Educational Neglect Offense Report and send or fax it to Isanti County Family Services for educational neglect referrals or Isanti County Probation Department for truancy referrals as listed on the referral form. 


As a victim of bullying, a child may not attend school because of it.  Please note, Isanti County Family Services and Isanti County Probation Department will inquire about the status of the child being a victim of bullying.