This program is designed to deter students from entering the court system and prevent further attendance problems. The Winona County Restorative Justice Program offers early intervention programming to all Winona County students. To qualify, a student must be 12 years of age or older.
The ultimate goal is to work with students who have not reached the point of habitual truancy. Ideally, students are referred to the Restorative Justice Program no later than the 5th unexcused absence.
For any questions you may have, please call the Winona County Restorative Justice Program at 507-457-6478 or email Megan Walters.
Please use the Early Intervention Form (PDF) to refer a student to the Restorative Justice Program.
Intervention referrals should be attached and emailed to Megan Walters. It is recommended that you print the completed referral and scan it in to save it for your records. Then, please email the scanned copy to Restorative Justice. This will ensure a successful submission.
Habitual truancy is defined as a child under the age of 17 but over the age of 12 who misses seven days of school or seven portions of seven different days within a given school year. A petition should be filed with the courts when students reach habitual truancy. Please note: an administrator needs to sign this form before submitting it to the county attorney's office.
Please use the Notice to Appear Form (PDF) to file a court petition for habitual truancy. Truancy petitions should be attached and emailed to personnel
Diversion is designed to work with students outside of the court system after a truancy petition has been filed with the county attorney's office. Eligibility for diversion is determined by a number of factors including history of chronic truancy, current or pending legal matters, and the number of unexcused absences accrued during the current school year.
Restorative Justice offers diversion to many students every school year in hopes of keeping kids out of court and off truancy probation. This is done by coming up with individual plans for students to be successful in their school environment. Students are referred to diversion by the county attorney's office and there is no additional paperwork needed from the schools.
If a student is 11 years old or younger and has attendance concerns, a child welfare report for educational neglect needs to be made with Winona County Health and Human Services. While students 12 years of age and older are viewed by state statute as old enough to be responsible for getting to school on time, a child 11 years of age or younger is not. Parents and guardians are ultimately responsible for getting children to school on time and prepared.
In some instances, students between the ages of 12 to 17 can qualify under educational neglect. If parents or guardians are noticeably neglecting a child's educational opportunities, a child welfare report should be made. This is different than truancy.
If a student reaches seven unexcused absences and meets these criteria, a child welfare report for educational neglect should be made with Winona County Health and Human Services. Please call 507-457-6500 and press 2. You will be connected to a receptionist. Tell them you need to make a report for educational neglect and they will direct you to a member of the screening team. You will then be asked a series of questions related to the situation surrounding the report being made. A summary of what will happen should be mailed to you within a few business days after making the report.
Attendance Policies for Winona County Schools
- Bluffview Montessori (PDF)
- Lewiston-Altura Public Schools District 857 (PDF)
- Riverway Learning Community (PDF)
- St. Charles Public Schools District 858 (PDF) - Note: The attendance policy starts on page 7 of the student handbook.
- Winona Area Public Schools District 861 (PDF) - Note: The attendance policy starts on page 5 of the student handbook.