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Scammers Using Overton School’s Absenteeism Program To Get Personal Info

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Scammers Using Overton School’s Absenteeism Program To Get Personal Info

Scammers are utilizing a program designed to help Overton County students and families with absenteeism in an attempt to gain personal information.

Someone is contacting families and portraying themselves as being affiliated with Engage Tennessee, a state initiative launched in the county. Director of Schools Donnie Holman said students provide all the information needed to sign up for the program when they enroll in school.

“We have the information, so if anyone contacts you saying we need your Social Security Number or credit card information because of Engage Tennessee that’s not the case, and we want to make sure our families understand that,” Holman said. “We have the information already so if someone does request that it’s not accurate.”

Engage Tennessee is a state-funded program designed to help students and families overcome absences. Chronic absenteeism is when a student misses 18 days or more of school in one year. Holman said if you get a scam call to please inform Overton County Schools.

Attendance Supervisor Cristy Miller said she has referred a total of 635 families to the program.

“If the families chose to opt in to the program then Engage Tennessee will work with that family and will help to identify barriers as to why the child is missing school,” Miller said. “Not only why there missing school but they will also help them academically. So they’ll work with the families and work with me as well to support the needs of that family once those barriers are identified.”

The program provides assistance to families who may be dealing with larger issues that cause school absences.

“A one-to-one success coach will be provided to the student,” Miller said. They’ll help that family to create an educational plan for that child to stay caught up, get to school and stay on track. Then, they’ll provide feedback to me at the district level so that we can also stay in touch with that family and help provide the needs they have.”

Miller said she personally handles getting students into the program and wants to remind families to be mindful of giving information out over the phone.

“I’ve provided everything the state needs to help that student and to help that family, so they already have the information they need, so families don’t need to share anything with them should they ask for more information,” Miller said.


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