Public schools

Grand Rapids Using Local Cops, Michigan DHS to Crack Down on Truant Students

For the children

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Nearly 7,000 Grand Rapids schools students—about one-third of the district's population—are missing 18 days or more of school annually, according to a recent district analysis.

And Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal says she is determined to stop it from plaguing the district.

"We need children in school on time from bell to bell, ready to learn, all day, every day," she said.

Neal, in her quest to improve attendance and students academic performance, has enlisted Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk, city commissioners, Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth and the state Department of Human Services to crack down on truancy.