When Ryan was referred to Pinebrook’s Making the Grade program by his elementary school counselor, he had been illegally absent over 10% of the school year and was illegally tardy another 16 days. Pinebrook’s initial assessment identified a number of issues that were negatively affecting Ryan’s success in school, including his learning needs and explosive anger, which was often the cause of his tardiness. It was evident that his parents were having financial and marital issues; both parents were laid off shortly before Making the Grade services began.
Pinebrook’s Family Worker participated in school Instructional Support Team meetings for Ryan, at which Ryan’s parents acknowledged that they needed more assistance and agreed to family counseling at Pinebrook’s outpatient clinic.
Through the use of an individualized Truancy Action Plan which included the use of a daily assignment book, communication improved between Ryan’s parents and school personnel. Ryan’s parents also began to use more consistent interventions which they learned from their family worker when their son initially refused to go to school in the morning. By the end of the school year, Ryan had perfect attendance and was on time for school during the last five months of the school year. Ryan’s grades also improved, including his reading skills which increased by three grade levels, and he was promoted to the fifth grade for the 2011/2012 school year.