Program successful in getting kids to school

Judge Dan Heath (center) says the Check & Connect program is already successful.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Just a few months into a new truancy program in Allen County, leaders are seeing some great results.

Allen Superior Court Judge Dan Heath launched Check & Connect back in 2013. It pairs mentors with students who have attendance problems to help keep them in school.

In the first semester, there was a 62% decline in suspensions, a 41% drop in tardies, and a 20% lower rate of absences.

“It’s very gratifying, very heartening. We are literally changing lives through this program in the sense that we’re changing what kids have done and where they would have been – committing crime, that kind of thing. Instead they’re in school,” said Judge Heath. “That doesn’t mean they’re going to excel in school, there’s still some challenges, but it does mean they’re there and they’re not committing crime and they have a chance of getting their credits and their high school diploma. That’s a big deal.”

Judge Heath said he can’t put a percentage on it, but he feels that the impact the program will have on our community in terms of adult crime is going to be big.

 

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