Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 118.16

  • assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Following: when used by way of reference to any statute section, means the section next following that in which the reference is made. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • in writing: includes any representation of words, letters, symbols or figures. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Officers: when applied to corporations include directors and trustees. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Person: includes all partnerships, associations and bodies politic or corporate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed; "year" alone means "year of our Lord". See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
   (1)   In this section:
      (a)    “Habitual truant” means a pupil who is absent from school without an acceptable excuse under sub. (4) and s. 118.15 for part or all of 5 or more days on which school is held during a school semester.
      (b)    “School attendance officer” means an employee designated by the school board to deal with matters relating to school attendance and truancy. “School attendance officer” does not include an individual designated under sub. (2m) (a) to take into custody a child who is absent from school without an acceptable excuse under s. 118.15 unless that individual has also been designated by the school board to deal with matters relating to school attendance and truancy.
      (c)    “Truancy” means any absence of part or all of one or more days from school during which the school attendance officer, principal or teacher has not been notified of the legal cause of such absence by the parent or guardian of the absent pupil, and also means intermittent attendance carried on for the purpose of defeating the intent of s. 118.15.
   (1m)   The period during which a pupil is absent from school due to a suspension or expulsion under s. 120.13 or 119.25 is neither an absence without an acceptable excuse for the purposes of sub. (1) (a) nor an absence without legal cause for the purposes of sub. (1) (c).
   (2)   The school attendance officer:
      (a)    Shall determine daily which pupils enrolled in the school district are absent from school and whether that absence is excused under s. 118.15.
      (c)    Except as provided under pars. (cg) and (cr), shall notify the parent or guardian of a child who has been truant of the child’s truancy and direct the parent or guardian to return the child to school no later than the next day on which school is in session or to provide an excuse under s. 118.15. The notice under this paragraph shall be given before the end of the 2nd school day after receiving a report of an unexcused absence. The notice may be made by personal contact, 1st class mail, or telephone call of which a written record is kept, except that notice by personal contact or telephone call shall be attempted before notice by 1st class mail may be given.
      (cg)    Shall notify the parent or guardian of a child who is a habitual truant, by registered or certified mail or by 1st class mail, when the child initially becomes a habitual truant. The school attendance officer may simultaneously notify the parent or guardian of the habitually truant child by an electronic communication. The notice shall include all of the following:
         1.    A statement of the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility, under s. 118.15 (1) (a) and (am), to cause the child to attend school regularly.
         2.    A statement that the parent, guardian or child may request program or curriculum modifications for the child under s. 118.15 (1) (d) and that the child may be eligible for enrollment in a program for children at risk under s. 118.153 (3).
         3.    A request that the parent or guardian meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss the child’s truancy. The notice shall include the name of the school personnel with whom the parent or guardian should meet, a date, time and place for the meeting and the name, address and telephone number of a person to contact to arrange a different date, time or place. The date for the meeting shall be within 5 school days after the date that the notice is sent, except that with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian the date for the meeting may be extended for an additional 5 school days.
         4.    A statement of the penalties, under s. 118.15 (5), that may be imposed on the parent or guardian if he or she fails to cause the child to attend school regularly as required under s. 118.15 (1) (a) and (am).
      (cr)    After the notice required under par. (cg) has been given, shall notify the parent or guardian of a habitual truant of the habitual truant’s unexcused absences as provided in the plan under s. 118.162 (4) (a). After the notice required under par. (cg) has been given, par. (c) does not apply.
      (d)    May visit any place of employment in the school district to ascertain whether any minors are employed there contrary to law. The officer shall require that school certificates and lists of minors who are employed there be produced for inspection, and shall report all cases of illegal employment to the proper school authorities and to the department of workforce development.
      (e)    Except as provided in par. (f), shall have access to information regarding the attendance of any child between the ages of 6 and 18 who is a resident of the school district or who claims or is claimed to be in attendance at a private school located in the school district.
      (f)    Shall request information regarding the attendance of any child between the ages of 6 and 18 who is a resident of the school district and who claims or is claimed to be in attendance at a tribal school, or who is not a resident of the school district and who claims or is claimed to be in attendance at a tribal school located in the school district.
   (2m)   
      (a)    A school district assets of the estate, pay debts, and distribute residue to those entitled to it.”>administrator may designate any of the following individuals to take a child who resides in the school district and who is absent from school without an acceptable excuse under s. 118.15 into custody under s. 938.19 (1m):
         1.    An employee of the school district who is directly involved in the provision of educational programs to the truant child.
         2.    An employee of the school district who is directly involved in the provision of a modified program or curriculum under s. 118.15 (1) (d), a program for children at risk under s. 118.153 or an alternative educational program under s. 119.82 or any other alternative educational program to children who attend the school attended by the truant child, if the school district administrator believes that the program or curriculum may be appropriate for the truant child.
         3.    A school social worker employed by the school district who provides services to children attending the school attended by the truant child, if the school district administrator believes that the services provided by the social worker may be appropriate for the truant child.
         4.    An employee of a social services agency who is directly involved in the provision of social services to the truant child or the child’s family.
         5.    A school attendance officer, but only if the school attendance officer meets the criteria specified in subds. 1., 2. or 3.
      (b)    A designation under par. (a) shall be in writing and shall specifically identify the child whom the individual is authorized to take into custody.
      (c)    A school district administrator may not designate an individual under par. (a) unless the individual agrees to the designation in writing.
      (d)    A school district administrator who makes a designation under par. (a) shall provide each individual so designated with an identification card of a form determined by the school board. The designee shall carry the identification card on his or her person at all times while the designee is on official duty under s. 938.19 (1m) and shall exhibit the identification card to any person to whom the designee represents himself or herself as a person authorized to take a child into custody under s. 938.19 (1m).
      (e)    A school district administrator who makes a designation under par. (a) or the individual designated under par. (a) shall immediately attempt to notify, by personal contact or telephone call, the child’s parent, guardian and legal custodian that the designation has been made and that the child may be taken into custody under s. 938.19 (1m). The school district administrator, or the designee, is not required to notify a parent, guardian or legal custodian under this paragraph if the parent, guardian or legal custodian is the person who requested that the child be taken into custody under s. 938.19 (1m).
   (3)   All private schools shall keep a record containing the information required under ss. 115.30 (2) and 120.18. The record shall be open to the inspection of school attendance officers at all reasonable times. When called upon by any school attendance officer, the school shall furnish, on forms supplied by the school attendance officer, the information required under ss. 115.30 (2) and 120.18 in regard to any child between the ages of 6 and 18 who is a resident of the school district or who claims or is claimed to be in attendance at the school.
   (4)   
      (a)    The school board shall establish a written attendance policy specifying the reasons for which pupils may be permitted to be absent from a public school under s. 118.15 and shall require the teachers employed in the school district to submit to the school attendance officer daily attendance reports on all pupils under their charge.
      (b)    No public school may deny a pupil credit in a course or subject solely because of the pupil’s unexcused absences or suspensions from school. The attendance policy under par. (a) shall specify the conditions under which a pupil may be permitted to take examinations missed during absences, other than suspensions, and the conditions under which a pupil shall be permitted to take any quarterly, semester or grading period examinations and complete any course work missed during a period of suspension.
      (c)    The school board may establish policies which provide that as a consequence of a pupil’s truancy the pupil may be assigned to detention or to a supervised, directed study program. The program need not be held during the regular school day. The policies under this paragraph shall specify the conditions under which credit may be given for work completed during the period of detention or assignment to a supervised, directed study program. A pupil shall be permitted to take any examinations missed during a period of assignment to a supervised, directed study program.
      (cm)   
         1.    The school board may establish policies which provide that a pupil of an age eligible for high school enrollment in the school district, as determined by the school board, may be assigned to a period of assessment as a consequence of the pupil’s truancy or upon the pupil’s return to school from placement in a correctional facility, mental health treatment facility, alcohol and other drug abuse treatment facility or other out-of-school placement. The policies shall specify the conditions under which a pupil may participate in the assessment without being in violation of s. 118.15 and the maximum length of time that a pupil may be assigned to an assessment period.
         2.    A school board may not assign a pupil to an assessment period without the written approval of the pupil’s parent or guardian. A school board may not assign a pupil to an assessment period for longer than the time necessary to complete the assessment and place the pupil in an appropriate education program or 8 weeks, whichever is less. A school board may not assign a pupil to an assessment period more than once and may not assign a pupil to an assessment period if the school district has an alternative education program, as defined in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 1., available for the pupil that is appropriate for the pupil’s needs. An assessment need not be conducted during the regular school day.
         3.    The goals of an assessment period are to develop an educational plan for the pupil, implement an appropriate transitional plan and facilitate the pupil’s placement in an education program in which the pupil will be able to succeed. The school board shall provide pupils who are assigned to an assessment period with information on other education programs that the school district or other community providers have available for the pupil. The assessment may include any of the following new or previously completed activities:
            a.    An assessment for problems with alcohol or other drugs.
            b.    An assessment of individual educational needs.
            c.    An assessment of whether the pupil is encountering problems in the community or at home that require intervention by a social worker.
            d.    A vocational assessment, which may include career counseling.
            e.    A medical assessment.
      (d)    The school board shall provide each pupil enrolled in the public schools in the district with a copy of the policies established under this subsection and shall file a copy of the policies in each school in the district. In addition, the school board shall make copies available upon request.
      (e)    Except as provided under s. 119.55, a school board may establish one or more youth service centers for the counseling of children who are taken into custody under s. 938.19 (1) (d) 10. for being absent from school without an acceptable excuse under s. 118.15.
   (5)   Except as provided in sub. (5m), before any proceeding may be brought against a child under s. 938.13 (6) for habitual truancy or under s. 938.125 (2) or 938.17 (2) for a violation of an ordinance enacted under s. 118.163 (2) or against the child’s parent or guardian under s. 118.15 for failure to cause the child to attend school regularly, the school attendance officer shall provide evidence that appropriate school personnel in the school or school district in which the child is enrolled have, within the school year during which the truancy occurred, done all of the following:
      (a)    Met with the child’s parent or guardian to discuss the child’s truancy or attempted to meet with the child’s parent or guardian and received no response or were refused.
      (b)    Provided an opportunity for educational counseling to the child to determine whether a change in the child’s curriculum would resolve the child’s truancy and have considered curriculum modifications under s. 118.15 (1) (d).
      (c)    Evaluated the child to determine whether learning problems may be a cause of the child’s truancy and, if so, have taken steps to overcome the learning problems, except that the child need not be evaluated if tests administered to the child within the previous year indicate that the child is performing at his or her grade level.
      (d)    Conducted an evaluation to determine whether social problems may be a cause of the child’s truancy and, if so, have taken appropriate action or made appropriate referrals.
   (5m)   Subsection (5) (a) does not apply if a meeting under sub. (2) (cg) 3. is not held within 10 school days after the date that the notice under sub. (2) (cg) is sent. Subsection (5) (b), (c) and (d) does not apply if the school attendance officer provides evidence that appropriate school personnel were unable to carry out the activity due to the child’s absences from school.
   (6)   
      (a)    If the school attendance officer receives evidence that activities under sub. (5) have been completed or were not required to be completed as provided in sub. (5m), the school attendance officer may do any of the following:
         1.    File information on any child who continues to be truant with the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under chs. 48 and 938 in accordance with s. 938.24. Filing information on a child under this subdivision does not preclude concurrent prosecution of the child’s parent or guardian under s. 118.15 (5).
         2.    Refer the child to a teen court program if all of the following conditions apply:
            a.    The chief judge of the judicial administrative district has approved a teen court program established in the child’s county of residence and has authorized the school attendance officer to refer children to the teen court program and the school attendance officer determines that participation in the teen court program will likely benefit the child and the community.
            b.    The child and the child’s parent, guardian and legal custodian consent to the child’s participation in the teen court program.
            c.    The child has not successfully completed participation in a teen court program during the 2 years before the date on which the school attendance officer received evidence that activities under sub. (5) have been completed or were not completed due to the child’s absence from school as provided in sub. (5m).
      (b)    If a child who is referred to a teen court program under par. (a) 2. is not eligible for participation in the teen court program or does not successfully complete participation in the teen court program, the person administering the teen court program shall file information on the child with the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under chs. 48 and 938 in accordance with s. 938.24. Filing information on a child under this paragraph does not preclude concurrent prosecution of the child’s parent or guardian under s. 118.15 (5).
   (7)   Any school district administrator, principal, teacher or school attendance officer who violates this section shall forfeit not less than $5 nor more than $25.