The School Avoidance Alliance

Although school avoidance has been a problem for years, it has gone under the radar.

We are here to change that! 

We support families, educators, and all stakeholders as we spread awareness for best practices to help get our kids back to school.

Two teens graduating

Jayne Demsky
Founder,
School Avoidance Alliance

Building this organization has always been a very personal mission because my son struggled with school avoidance on and off for many years. 

When his school avoidance started around 2009, very little information was available, and the stigma around mental illness was still potent.

My son was suffering from severe anxiety disorder and depression. As all parents know, when your kid is in pain, you are in pain. Our whole family was challenged and affected.

We went through multiple mental health professionals until we found an experienced psychiatrist helping kids with school avoidance and anxiety disorders. 

Our school district didn’t understand school avoidance and believed my son was manipulating them and us. They delayed providing appropriate support and intervention.

After a few years of interventions, advocacy, reading clinical research, learning special education law, and working with dedicated professionals, my son got his life back.

No family or child deserves to go through a journey like ours, so seven years ago, I started sharing support and resources with families on my first website schoolrefusalhope.org.

In 2020 I realized, to have better outcomes for school avoidance families, we have to dedicate equal time and resources, working hand in hand with educators, schools, and their mental health staff.

The professionals in our schools play an essential part in getting our kids back to learning.

The School Avoidance Alliance is a community comprised of schools, families, mental health providers, and educational advocates committed to improving our kids’ lives.

Thank you,

Our Mission

The School Avoidance Alliance is dedicated to sharing best practice interventions, school avoidance facts, and resources. for helping kids with school avoidance get back to learning (school).

We support and partner with all stakeholders involved in helping kids with school avoidance get back to learning.
Parents – Educators – Mental Health Providers – Schools – Educational Advocates and any organization supporting improved mental health, educational engagement, and social-emotional learning.

We are a community that understands the complicating factors of school avoidance which can cause frustration, isolation, and heartache. We don’t want families and their kids suffering anymore.

The best outcomes come when our stakeholders (mentioned above) work together with awareness, empathy, and access to real-world facts and evidence-based solutions.

We are also a resource and conduit of school avoidance information for schools, their educators, and all their staff who are champions for their students. We support schools in their prevention efforts and will continue to spotlight that early intervention, equals the best outcomes. These outcomes are kids’ lives!!

We will continue to advocate for systemic change, promoting awareness and accelerating the flow of information from the top-down (leading world researchers and clinicians) and bottom-up (parents and individual school districts).

How Can We Help You?

Get Help Today with
Exclusive Access to Leading
School Avoidance Experts

Unfortunately only a small percentage of school professionals, therapists, educational advocates and policy makers understand school avoidance best practices. So, you must become the expert to ensure your child is getting:

  • Appropriate mental health treatment
  • School assistance without punitive responses (truancy, failing, grade retention)
  • Educated regardless of their school avoidance
  • A 504 plan or IEP if needed (many school avoidant kids qualify)

The time passing slowly without progress is the worst feeling. It wouldn’t have taken five years of suffering and uncertainty if I had this expert guidance during my son’s school avoidance. We would have saved $29,000 in lawyer fees and $69,000 for private schools.

Providing Information School Avoidance Families Need To Know

This Guide explains; 504 Plans, IEPs, Attendance Policies & More

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