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Parent says daughter skipped hundreds of classes without punishment

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A parent at T.C. Howe High School says his daughter skipped hundreds of classes last year with little punishment or alerts by the school.

Concerned parent Bill, whose identity FOX59 concealed, said his daughter missed 250 classes last year. Still, she entered her senior year this fall.

“They let her get by with it last year and they’re letting her get by with it this year,” Bill said.

According to a letter sent by the school, Bill’s daughter has already missed 28 classes this year.

“(We’re) trying to remedy issues that maybe we had last year, that’s definitely a focal point this year,” Assistant Principal Eleese Dorsey said.

Dorsey said that, by policy, a student’s parents are alerted after five truancies in a row. She said the truancy policy has been more stringent this school year.

“We are constantly trying to be proactive in this, in making sure that all of our students are in class all the time,” Dorsey said.

T.C Howe is one of four “turnaround” schools taken over by Mayor Greg Ballard’s office this June. The school received an “F” grade from the state six years in a row and has been under charter control in an effort to improve.

One way Dorsey showed that improvement to FOX59 is in the school’s monitoring of students.

Lucian Anderson is one of six campus monitors who patrol hallways and use a system to scan students’ IDs every day and issue hall passes.

“It will pull up their information and very simply we hit print and it prints out the hall pass,” Anderson said.

The school said the scanners are one way they are keeping kids in class. Dorsey said she is also calling parents like Bill, whose students have had past troubles getting to class.

“Whatever we have to do to make sure students are successful and they’re in the classroom, we’re going to do,” Dorsey said.

Bill said his daughter did have a sit down with administrators recently to address her issues. He’s hoping this turnaround will mean she’s getting a good education.

“I’m not only in this for my daughter, I’m in it for every student in this school,” Bill said.