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Division of Inspection ECYS “Temporary adjustment to truancy-related requests”

Please be informed that due to staffing challenges at DIV (General Affairs), the Inspectorate has decided to make the following adjustments (effective Feb 1, 2021) to truancy-related request processes:

EXEMPTIONS

When a child will be absent from both face-to-face classes as well as online classes, the parent/guardian must request an exemption. Exemption requests can be made for the following reasons:

  • medical appointments in connection with SZV,
  • Immigration matters
  • Educational, Cultural, Sport
  • Relocation
  • Personal Matters.

To apply for an exemption for any of the aforementioned reasons, parents/guardians must make contact with their child’s school to request an exemption form. The school will issue a stamped and signed exemption form to be submitted to the Division of Inspection for approval.

Documents needed to support an exemption request are:

  • copy of the parent’s/guardian’s valid passport/ID
  • copy of student’s valid passport / ID,
  • Flight reservation (please do not purchase tickets until the exemption request has been approved by the Division of Inspection ECYS).
  • Invitation/death certificate/obituary or any other documentation supporting the reason for the request

Once all documentation has been received from the school in good order at the Division of Inspection ECYS, the request will be processed and the response will be e-mailed back to the school to be delivered to the parent/guardian).

DEVIATION (from face-to-face learning to online learning)

When a family is faced with an extraordinary challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their child is unable to attend school face-to-face but has the means to follow online classes (if the school accommodates this), then parent/guardian can request a deviation.

Requests to deviate from face-to-face instruction consist of grave illness of family members, off-island medical treatment, family/medical emergencies, death/funerals off-island, quarantine/isolation etc. This option is for extraordinary circumstances ONLY and is a temporary option being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain in effect from February 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

Parents/Guardians can request a deviation, to temporarily switch to online classes, by writing a letter of request to their child’s school. This request must clearly explain the reason(s) for the deviation. The school will consult with its school board and the Division of Inspection ECYS before making a decision.

Once a decision is made, the school will communicate this to the parent/guardian. Kindly note that the requirements on the parent’s/guardian’s end may differ per school board as they are the competent authority in this matter.

Interventions

Compulsory education is in effect and all children ages 4-18 MUST be in school. Any student who is absent from school will be considered as “Truant” and the school is responsible for reporting truant cases to the Division of Inspection. This process is called “an intervention.” The Division of Inspection will attempt to make contact with the parent/guardian of the truant student.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Truancy Officers will not be conducting any home visits to locate truant students until further notice. All attempts to locate/contact parents guardians and students will be made via email and or phone call. All unreachable/unsuccessful cases that are considered “extreme” will be turned over to the Public Prosecutor’s office for further handling.

Office OperationThe Division of Inspection will not be receiving in-person requests at the office until further notice. All requests must be done electronically via the school. All responses are sent electronically to the school. In the event of emergency cases, appointments will be made.

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