Attendance officers track student attendances and enforce rules about truancy, which vary according to each school's guidelines and local laws. They sometimes even track down specific students who have a habit of missing school. The officers are usually either police officers, whose duties include ensuring student attendance in the local school system, or social workers who work within the school. Most attendance officers carry out school policies and work closely with school principals to administer attendance rules. Attendance officers also may confer with parents on daily absences. They sometimes train teachers on the best ways to encourage student attendance.
Attendance officers need to be able to effectively communicate with students and school faculty. They need to be able to find solutions to cases of extended absences for a student. Public speaking skills and written communication skills are essential. Compassion and diplomacy are keys to being an effective attendance officer. Attendance officers either go through police academy training or social work programs. Most have a college degree. Familiarity with teaching methods and the education system is a huge benefit.
Attendance officers' working hours usually correspond to school hours, as they need to interact with students, principals, counselors, teachers, social workers, and other officers. Their working environment varies, depending on their specific duties outlined by their assigned school and whether they are police officers or social workers. They sometimes need to visit the student and his or her parental figure in person to investigate cases of long-term or frequent absences.