How Nordhoff deals with truancy problem

The following article first appeared in the Wednesday, January 21, 1970 edition of “The Ojai Valley News”. It is reprinted here with their permission. The photo has been added by the “Ojai Valley Museum”.

How Nordhoff deals with truancy problem
by
Randy Russell

Randy Russell
(Photo Courtesy of Debby Russell-Swetek)

Truancy is a problem that exists on all school campuses. The Nordhoff High School attendance office reports that the problem is no greater here than at other schools in the county. According to the Education Code passed by the State Legislature “a child is deemed an habitual truant when he has been reported absent or tardy without a valid excuse for three or more times.”

Mr. Paul LaBute has recently been named Attendance Officer to combat the truancy problem on the Nordhoff campus. Specific procedures are followed each day in attendance procedures. Each day attendance is taken in homeroom. Those absent are listed for the day on a Master Absence List. Then each teacher takes roll in each class. Any student absent from class and not on the Master Absence List is reported to the Attendance office.

Step 1 — If it is determined the student is cutting class, a Student Referral Form is made out by the attendance clerks.

Step 2 — If a student receives three of these referral forms (that is, he was caught cutting classes three times) a School Conduct Report is sent by the attendance office to the parents.

Step 3 — If the truancy problem still exists, the student is suspended for five days. He must report to the continuation school to keep up with his class work.

Step 4 — Should a student still be truant, a Notice for Child to Discontinue Violating School Law is sent to the parents from the County of Ventura Superintendent of Schools office. This is sent by Mr. F. J. Holyoak, Child Welfare and Attendance Coordinator and it says:

“This letter is sent to notify you that this office has received a complaint that (your child) is violating the school laws of the State of California by being truant.

In accordance with the Education Code, Section 12408, the County Superintendent of Schools may request a Juvenile Court Petition in behalf of any child who is habitually truant, irregular in attendance, habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school.

The Juvenile Court, after hearing such a petition, may render judgement that the Juvenile be detained or his parents required to deliver him to the school each day or execute a $200.00 bond which is forfeit if there is further nonattendance or misconduct.

You are hereby directed to do whatever you can to prevent further noncompliance with school law. After 10 days, if matters have not improved or if there are further violations a request for a juvenile court petition will be made.”

Step 5 — The final step is a 10-day suspension, after which the student would be referred to the Placement Committee of the District. The Placement Committee may refer the student to the School Board which could result in expulsion, or the Placement Committee could place the child in a continuation high school or in an adult evening program. After hard work, the student can still graduate and then go into the service, on to college or trade schools or begin a job.

The counseling office reports that a student’s attendance record is a very important factor in job placement. Employers usually ask two questions, “Is this person reliable? Was his school attendance regular.” If the student has been truant the counseling office must report that fact. Work habits are established in school, the counselors concluded, but often the truant student cannot easily be convinced of the seriousness of establishing a truancy record.

Optimists honor 25 Nordhoff students

The following article first appeared in the Sunday, November 12, 1967 edition of the “Ojai Valley News” on the front page. It is reprinted here with their permission. The author is unknown.

Optimists honor 25 Nordhoff students

The Ojai Valley Optimist Club’s “Youth Appreciation Week” will be held Monday through Sunday, Nov. 13-19. Highlight of the week is “Youth in Community Day,” when 25 students from Nordhoff High school participate in the work day of 25 local businessmen.

Students and sponsors are scheduled for a 7 a.m. breakfast Thursday at the Oaks Restaurant, according to Optimist President Bob Music.

The Optimist Club will present two outstanding community service awards: one to Roger Armstrong, an Eagle Scout who was instrumental in collecting needed items for fire-fighters during the recent Santa Paula fire; the other to Elizabeth Jones, a senior at Nordhoff high school who has contributed 190 hours of work as a volunteer of the Junior Red Cross. The awards are among the highest given by the Optimist club.

Rev. Theodore R. Little of the Ojai Presbyterian Church will give the invocation at the Nov. 16 breakfast, after greetings from President Music. The master of ceremonies will either be Dale Holt or Rev. Little.

Dr. Pat Rooney will give the keynote talk, followed by the community service awards presentation and introduction of students and their sponsors. Participation certificates will also be given at this time. Chairman of the event Bob Smith will give the closing words of thanks.

After the breakfast, the students will pair off with their sponsors and work with them at their professions until 2:30 p.m. that day.

Sponsors and students participating in “Youth in Community Day” are: Ojai mayor and David Keitges; city administrator and Byron Barnes; chief of police and Pat Harwell; recreation director and Karen Bunch; Oak View fire station, Allen Ormsby; Meiners Oaks fire station, Rod Davis; U.S. Forest Service, Terry Hanrahan; Ventura River Municipal Water District, Frank Carlson; U.S. Post Office, Beverly Fox; Presidio Savings, Jeni McKinney; Channel Islands Bank, Karen DeSautelle; Soule Park, Greg Stafford; Ojai Hospital, Nancy Branch; Price Realty, Ron Brandolino; Ojai Valley News, Kathy Magill and Merideth Morrison; Neilson and Co., Jim Flanagan; Rexall Pharmacy, Danny McKinney; Safeway, Jim Blymer; Roberts Shoes, Annette Hanson; Oaks Hotel, Carolyn Cloar; Rains Dept. Store, Marie Goudy, and county supervisor, John Hubbard.

YOUTH APPRECIATION WEEK — Some of the students participating in the Ojai Valley Optimists Club’s “Youth in Community Day” to be held Thursday are: (first row, from left) Karen Bunch, Jenni McKinney, Beverly Fox, Annette Hansen, Dan McKinney, Frank Carlson. (Second row ) Nancy Branch, Kathy Magill, Terry Hanrahan, Jim Cox. (Third row) Dave Keitges, Pat Harwell, Jim Flanagan, John Hubbard, Greg Stafford, Ron Brandolino. (Back row) Dale Holt of the Optimist Club, Jim Blymyer, Byron Barnes, and instructor Paul Labute. (News photo)

The 35-member local Optimist club put the final touches on “Youth Appreciation Week” during their Thursday breakfast meeting at the Boots and Saddle restaurant. President Music said that the County Board of Supervisors has issued a proclamation for the national youth week, and that the Ojai City Council will also issue a proclamation when the councilmen meet Monday in City Hall.