Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell is a truancy reduction program that began in 2008 funded with a Texas Criminal Justice Division grant. The program started with four Fort Bend County ISD schools and all Katy ISD schools under the jurisdiction of Judge Kenneth Cannata. The program was expanded in late 2011 and again in 2012. Judge Kenneth Cannata serves Fort Bend and Katy ISDs Precinct 3, and Judge Gary Janssen serves Lamar Consolidated and Needville ISDs.
The goal of this innovative program is to apply pro-active casework management strategies together with meaningful sanctions in order to address truancy issues and ultimately reduce delinquency. When a child is referred to the court system for truancy issues the presiding judge has the option to place the child under direct supervision of the Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department’s “Saved by the Bell “program. When a child is placed in the program a Juvenile Probation Officer will meet with the child and their parents immediately to discuss the conditions of the courts remedial orders they have been placed on by the Judge. The orders are for usually a 180-day period. A compliance date is also scheduled at that time so that the Judge can stay informed of the progress of the child. During the initial meeting the parent will complete demographic and consent forms enabling the case manager to acquire the child’s school information. The child is scheduled for their initial monthly office visit.
When the child reaches his/her compliance hearing date, it is the case manager's responsibility to inform the Judge of the child’s compliance with the remedial orders, including grades, attendance, discipline issues, and make recommendations for the child’s probation status. If the child is compliant, the truancy case is closed. If the child continues to have truancy issues the court may modify this remedial order. If the child is persistently non-compliant, they may be referred to the Juvenile Court for truancy intervention.