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NYM School receives funds for truancy prevention

Truant students are the new focus of the Otter Tail County Collaborative, and that’s resulted in some truancy prevention funding for the New York Mills School District.

At a New York Mills School Board meeting on Nov. 25, Superintendent Blaine Novak said truancy is the collaborative’s current “hot topic.”

“They are really pushing us to act earlier,” said Novak.

To focus on younger students and early intervention, the school district received about $3,000 for truancy prevention. The funds are to be used to identify students who could use some intervention, and to address the problem with parents.

“Our truancy problem is not that great, but we do have some students who are not coming. We have some students who are showing up late,” said Novak. “What we are finding is that if you wait until the high school, it’s already too late. So we have some kids who could be addressed already as early as first and second grade.”

In other news, high school Principal Michelle Young outlined some changes coming from the Minnesota Department of Education over the next few years.

According to Young, some tests will be discontinued, graduation requirements will be changed and at least one new test will eventually be implemented.

“No one knows what it (the new test) is going to look like yet,” said Young. “It is complex, and so, if I’m confusing you, it’s probably because I’m a little confused myself.”