A visit from CPS

September 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm 8 comments

I was at home today… Sunday and somebody knocked at the door.  The person was wearing a CPS badge.  The guy was from some department called Child Outreach or something like that.

He inquired as to why my son hasn’t attended school yet this year.  I said “Oh my God, you’re the TRUANT OFFICER!”  If you read any old kids books (such as the Beverly Cleary series) you hear a lot about truant officers who come and check up on absent kids, but I thought that was an outdated position.  Actually I don’t think this guy claimed to have any authority but rather was serving to remind me to send my child to school in case I’d been having him play Nintendo DS for the past 2 weeks while I watched soap operas.

I explained that my son did miss the first day of school due to lice (always good for getting someone to take a step back from you) but that he’s been there every day since.  He seemed to believe me.

Those in CPS are probably familiar with the method for informing parents that their child is absent.  You get a recorded message from your child’s school (that somehow distorts the voice to sound oddly scary) well after 1pm on the day they’re out.  If you’re the parent of a little kid, chances are that you know your child’s whereabouts, but if you have a teenager they may have gotten into all kinds of trouble before you find out that they never made it to school.  Gone are the days when Mrs. Horlick from my high school office would make a stern call to the parents early in the morning to find out where you were.  She knew every parent’s voice and could immediately detect a fraud.  Bah.

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Entry filed under: CPS Policy / Resources, My school experiences, Random topics.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Y  |  September 21, 2009 at 12:39 am

    My jaw is on the ground. Several reasons – CPS employee working on a Sunday, actual follow-up on truancy from CPS after missing one day, and the idiocy of running an attendance report for day one but not checking what happened on subsequent days. How does one get so lucky to get so much material to blog about?

  • 2. Selena  |  September 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    hilarious! great post.

  • 3. CPS Mom  |  September 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I have only received those automated calls—never a real person. One of my children only missed 4 consecutive days from school last year because of the flu. Are you sure it was a CPS employee. I thought they had gotten rid of truant officer. Maybe your child’s school has parent volunteers for this dort of thing!

  • 4. Gale  |  October 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    If I were you, I would check on you child’s attendance in the computer system. Why did this person think your son was not in school? I would assume that the visit by truant office would be computer generated, so I would be concerned about what was in the computer. Check in parent portal, or have school check on his attendance record for this year.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  October 11, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. I did mention it to the school one day but with all things CPS I should follow up.

  • 6. Alex  |  December 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I got a visit myself. That is I believe because I signed up to the 2 schools simultaneously. The guy asked if my son is going to school, and checked which one – he took my word and left.

    As for the first day – we got a flayer for free Field Museum tickets from school for attending on the first day!!

  • 7. cpsmommy  |  April 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

    At my child’s school the call comes from a principal who retired 5 years ago!!!! It says to call the school , so I do and they never know what to say.

  • 8. Rose Glenn  |  June 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I received a letter from my daughters pre-k threatening a truancy officer visit. She had missed 11 total days that school year. 3 of those were due to the daycare being closed for a week and 4 trips a day to the school (pickup and drop off 2 kids at different times) was just causing me to miss way too much work. It was easier to keep her at work with me all day. The other 8 were due to medical compliance. Her doctor refused to give me her info without the tb test. (long story, but she took it and it was negative). They marked the days as unexcused absences rather than medical exclusion. Her last missed day was the second week of January and I received the letter in April.

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