STORM LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) — Officials say that nearly 20 families were referred to truancy mediation after identifying Storm Lake Elementary School students who missed more than 25 days of school in the last month. 

According to a release from the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office, officials will be increasing efforts to combat the ongoing absence problem again in Buena Vista County.  

The release states that the attorney’s office worked with schools for addressing truancy concerns before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The county attorney and assistant county attorney met with school officials to create a plan to enforce Iowa Truancy law. The release cites the Iowa Code which states that parents can face fines or jail time if their children do not consistently attend school.  

The code also requires the school to attempt to have mediation between them and the parents. The release states that 100% of parents who were referred to mediation participated.  

“Truancy is important to the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office, and we look forward to continuing to work with our area schools to address this community concern,” a release from the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office stated. “Truancy mediations will continue to be held as they are needed this school year.  Our office also looks forward to working with the other school districts in Buena Vista County to establish programs.” 

 The mediation resulted in positive feedback from those who attended, and there were “innovative” ideas for addressing the attendance issue, according to the release.