You could call it detention hall for ditchers or a time-out for truants.

Just don't call it fun.

In an effort to curb the number of students playing hooky, Los Angeles Unified recently opened Attendance Improvement Centers at eight of its campuses, including one at Sepulveda Middle School in North Hills.

Instead of giving citations to students they find roaming the streets during school hours, LAPD and LAUSD police will be taking the truants to the new centers. There, students will be given grade-appropriate assignments to work on until their parents pick them up.

"The idea is for this to serve as a deterrent and as intervention," said Dionne Ash, a pupil services coordinator for Los Angeles Unified.

"It's not made to be a happy place ... We want kids to come here and not be