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CUTS Truancy Program



 The education of our students is extremely important in the Murphy Elementary School District #21. School attendance is not only a good habit that can prepare students for future careers, but it is required by law.

According to Arizona State Law (15-802.E, 15-803), every parent/legal guardian must ensure that children between the ages of six and sixteen years of age attend school during school hours, unless a child is unable to attend due to illness or another legitimate reason.

To encourage and improve school attendance, Murphy Elementary School District #21, in partnership with Maricopa County Juvenile Court, has implemented a truancy program. This truancy program is called C.U.T.S (Court Unified Truancy Suppression). C.U.T.S. requires the school to track student attendance closely.

  • An absence is defined as a minimum of one missed class period per day.
  • An unexcused absence will count as a truant day as defined by law.
  • A student is "habitually truant" if s/he has five or more unexcused absences from school.
  • A student that is absent more than ten percent (18 days) of the required number of school days per year is considered to have "excessive absences" whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

If a student has five or more unexcused absences or over 18 excessive absences (excused and/ OR unexcused), the student can be cited to the C.U.T.S. Program through the Juvenile Court.

If a student is cited under this law, a hearing would be held at the Juvenile Court Center. A parent or legal guardian must be present with the student at the time of the hearing. Consequences at the hearing may include the following:

  • required attendance of the parent and the child at an education class (to be held on Saturdays)
  • work hours assigned to the child
  • mandatory counseling
  • a $50 Diversion fees assessed to the parent/guardian

Failure to take the necessary steps to ensure that your child attends school on a regular basis may result in a citation. If convicted, this violation is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by fine and/or jail time. Your support and commitment to ensuring that your child comes to school when s/he is well enough to do so is essential.