Our Mission

To re-engage students back into the classroom by helping them create positive and consistent attendance habits.

Truancy Assessment and Resource Center (TARC) is a one-stop resource center for truancy intervention services and supports. TARC’s target population includes middle and high school students who attend the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

Read more about TARC

The center receives referrals from local community-based organizations, SFUSD administrators, San Francisco Police, and Sheriff Offices, representatives from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, parents/caregivers, and other partners.

TARC delivers truancy intervention services through case management to youth who are habitually or chronically truant (e.g., more than 10 unexcused absences).


TARC Core Values

  • What You Do Matters = Community impact

  • One Vision, One Language = When there’s unity, we’re unstoppable

  • Excellence is Not Perfection = Give your best

  • Courage = Don’t be afraid to fail and grow from it

  • Generosity = Going beyond to meet a need

  • Lead to Inspire = Great leaders produce other leaders

TARC Strategy

We provide educational advocacy by working with SFUSD teachers and principals to place students, establish information and referral protocols, and conduct bio/psycho/social assessments to identify areas of need. 

We use several strategies to impact attendance and academic performance of students.


  • We work with the Attendance team and the Administration to facilitate a welcoming and engaging environment for parents and students.
  • We organize workshops to help the community understand the role a healthy school culture plays in a neighborhood and the educational landscape. And the part they play in, at the school and throughout the neighborhoods to promote awareness of school life in the community.
  • We conduct home visits as needed offering referrals to the comprehensive support services available.


  • At Starr King: The Lucky 13 Club 
  • At Daniel Webster The Reading Club 
  • At Daniel Webster the Early engagement program. 

The Educational program for students serve as an incentive and connection to the students and their families.


  • Motivate them to attend school 
  • Support students academically 
  • Identified issues that students face at home and offer support to parents 
  • Work with students to change the in-classroom behavior
  • Celebrate their small victories

For any questions, please contact Damon Whitaker at mdwhitaker@ymcasf.org.

Truancy Prevention: Elementary Schools

A partnership project of Urban Services, The School District, First Five and the Hope Initiative to rebuild four key neighborhoods, in support of the Hope communities to improve the academic development of elementary school students by improving attendance and academic performance.

TARC Impact

Starr King: We started with 15 students from which we had a 90% change on attendance behavior.

Daniel Webster: We had significant changes with the students from Potrero Hill as we partnered with the Walk to School program of Healthy Generations. We refer students that need extra support and offer The Early Morning Enrichment program for free, so students come to school early and could read.

The Afternoon Reading Club: Hosted in partnership with Daniel Webster (OST) Out of school program and work in coordination with teachers and the San Francisco Public Library to support reading at school and at home by providing once a week reading and books for students to take home.

The After School Reading Club: Currently has 45 students that meet weekly to read and write. Typically, students are behind on their reading - our goal is to move them at least two levels up as well as keeping them in school.

Meet Our Staff

Damon Walker

Director of Truancy Assessment and Resource Center (TARC)

Urban Services YMCA


About Damon

Damon is known for being a visionary leader and for his innovative strategies to serve the community. In doing so, Damon has committed over two decades of his life to bring transformational impact to some of the most vulnerable communities by helping youth and their families break limitations.

Our goal is to help youth realize their full potential, in school and in life.

At the Y, youth will experience programs dedicated to enhancing practical and personal skills, at a pace that encourages school attendance, engagement, and confidence.