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About the partnership

School Justice Collaboration Grant


Committed to educating and graduating all students, Rayen Early College is participating in a three-year pilot program in collaboration with Mahoning County Juvenile Court, aimed at deterring truancy and preventing dropout by identifying students who struggle with attendance, behavior, and grades using an Early Warning System and providing early interventions to help students stay on a path to graduation. Funding for the project is being provided through a “Now Is the Time School Justice Collaboration Award: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court” grant, awarded to the court from the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Court’s role is to provide schools with resources, training, and personnel to work collaboratively with partner schools to foster education completion and deter students from involvement with the justice system.


States and districts throughout the nation are using Early Warning Systems to monitor indicators that research has shown to be strong predictors of academic success. Early Warning Systems use individual student data to generate indicators of on-track status for graduation including attendance, behavior and course performance. Confidential scores are based on the number of unexcused absences, in school and out of school suspensions, and the number of core classes the student has failed. When a student falls below established threshold levels set by the school district, the school’s Early Warning Team made up of educators, administrators, and school counselors intervenes with the intent of getting a student back on track. An Early Warning Team has been formed at Rayen Early College to review the student data, identify students in need of intervention, and provide positive interventions.


The grant provides financial support for the Illuminate software system, staff training, and many positive programs. In addition to creating Early Warning Systems in Rayen Early College, the grant also provides training and resources to improve overall school climate, since both students and educators benefit from a positive learning environment. It incorporates community resources and counseling services with school and court resources. Once the grant period is complete, the Early Warning Program should sustain itself at Rayen Early College since the training and intervention programs will be firmly in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the School Justice Collaboration?

Committed to educating and graduating all students, Rayen Early College is participating in a three-year pilot program in collaboration with Mahoning County Juvenile Court. This program is aimed at deterring truancy and preventing dropout by identifying students who struggle with attendance, behavior, and grades through an early warning system and providing early interventions to help students stay on a path to graduation. Funding for the project is being provided through a “Now is the Time School Justice Collaboration Award: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court” grant awarded to the court from the United States Department of Justice/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Mahoning County Juvenile Court is one of only four juvenile courts nationally to have been given the award. Other schools implementing the same program are Austintown, Boardman, Struthers and Mahoning County High School.


What is the role of the Court?

The Courts role is to provide schools with resources in an effort to foster education completion and deter students from involvement with the justice system since research shows that truancy is the number one precursor to involvement with the justice system. Currently, 75% of youth involved with the justice system have either been truant or have dropped out of school. The pilot program is a prevention program aimed at combating the underlying problems that cause truant behavior including economic factors, family factors, school factors, and student variables.


Economic Factors:

  • Poverty
  • Single -parent homes
  • High Rate of mobility
  • Parents who work multiple jobs
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of affordable childcare


Family Factors:

  • Lack of Guidance and/or parental supervisions
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug or alcohol abuse in the home
  • Lack of awareness of school policies and attendance law
  • Ambivalent attitudes about the importance of education


School Factors:

  • School climate issues
  • Inconsistent procedures for dealing with truancy
  • Lack of meaningful consequences for truant youth

Student Variables:

  • Academic problems and unidentified learning difficulties
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Lack of understanding of attendance laws
  • Poor social skills
  • Mental health issues


What is an Early Warning System?

States and districts throughout the nation are using Early Warning Systems to monitor indicators that research has shown to be strong predictors of academic completion. Early Warning Systems use individual student data to generate indicators of on-track status for graduation, commonly referred to as the ABC’s: attendance, behavior, and course performance.

Traditionally collected state reportable individual student data is downloaded into the Illuminate software system which provides a report used by Early Warning teams to review student status. Confidential scores are based on the number of unexcused absences, in school and out of school suspensions, and the number of core classes the student has failed. Early Warning Systems provide for earlier identification of students who struggle with attendance, behavior, and/or grades which may compromise their path to graduation and are used to facilitate a broad spectrum of interventions to address student needs in the interest of getting them back and keeping them on the path to graduation. In addition, an Early Warning System provides schools with a tool to track intervention referrals and completion.


Who is monitored in the Early Warning program?

All Rayen Early College student data is entered and monitored.


What if my child is identified as being ON TRACK?

The majority of students at Rayen Early College are ON TRACK and do not require intervention. They are considered ON TRACK to graduation. Focused attention is on students presenting in the OFF TRACK and SLIDING categories, although an ON TRACK student struggling with a traumatic life event may be considered for intervention by the Early Warning Team. Traumatic events such as a death of parent/guardian or friend, divorce, suicide attempt, incarceration of a parent/guardian, sexual assault etc. can have a tremendous impact on a student’s ability to attend and function at school. The goal will be to recommend and connect the student to resources to help keep the student ON TRACK and get them through a traumatic event.


Who serves on the Early Warning Team?

Your schools Early Warning Team is comprised of school principals, school counselors, and educators. The team meets regularly to review student status and recommend school and community resources responsive to the needs of the child. School officials are required by law to intervene and encourage a child’s attendance at school. The Early Warning Teams work to identify the underlying problems and resolve them with the child, and parent/guardian. Through a confidentiality agreement, the Social Worker Family Advocate and Grant Manager may or may not be present.


How is my child’s score determined?

Students begin each school year with a total of 100 points—100 being a perfect score and 0 being the lowest score. Attendance and behavior are worth 35 points and curriculum (grades) are worth 30 points. The scores are calculated as follows:


90-100 – ON TRACK

70-89 – SLIDING

0-69 – OFF TRACK


Attendance (35 points)

Less than 4 unexcused absences – get the full 35 points

Between 4-9 unexcused absences – student loses points (-17)

If you have greater than 9 unexcused absences the student loses all 35 attendance points


Behavior (35 points)

Zero in school or out of school suspension – student receives the full 35 points

1-2 ISS/OSS – student loses points (-17)

Greater than 2 ISS/OSS – student loses all 35 points

Is there any record at the Court?

No. A student’s attendance, behavior, and curriculum performance are only shared with the Court when the school refers to the matter to the Court as mandated by Ohio law and school discipline policy. The Court will also consider the student’s participation in school recommended interventions and the student’s attendance and completion of intervention programs.


How and who determines the interventions?

Interventions are determined by the Early Warning System team based on the individual needs of the student.


20 W. Wood Street    Youngstown, OH 44503    330.744.6900
20 W. Wood Street | Youngstown, OH 44503 | 330.744.6900
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