Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education-to benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning on the previous day’s and to grow as an individual. Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a student’s mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the student and parent should make every effort to avoid unnecessary absences.
Age 19 and Older
A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 19th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. If a student age 19 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing.
Between Age 6 and 19
State law requires that a student between the ages of 6 and 19 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.
Prekindergarten and Kindergarten
Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten are required to attend school and are subject to the compulsory attendance requirements as long as they remain enrolled.
Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance
All Grade Levels
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law. A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated instruction” by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
Age 19 and Older
After a student age 19 or older incurs a third unexcused absence, the district will send the student a letter as required by law explaining that the district may revoke the student’s enrollment for the remainder of the school year if the student has more than five unexcused absences in a semester. As an alternative to revoking a student’s enrollment, the district may implement a behavior improvement plan.
Between Ages 6 and 19
1. When a student between ages 6 and 19 incurs unexcused absences for three (3) or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the school will send notice to the student’s parent(s), as required by law, to remind the parent(s) that it is the parent’s duty to monitor his or her child’s attendance and to require the student to come to school. The notice will also ask the parent(s) and student (age 12 or older) to attend an Attendance Awareness Meeting where they will be asked to sign an attendance contract.
2. After six (6) unexcused absences within a six month period, the parent(s) and student (age 12 or older) will be asked to meet with the principal.
3. After nine (9) unexcused absences within a six month period, the school will notify the parent(s) that the district will initiate truancy filings after the next unexcused absence.
4. After 10 unexcused absences, truancy filings will be initiated by the school.
A court of law may also impose penalties against a student’s parent if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student is absent without excuse from school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year. If a student ages 12 through 18 incurs unexcused absences on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the district, in most circumstances, will refer the student to truancy court.
Documentation After an Absence (All Grade Levels)
When a student is absent from school, the student-upon arrival or return to school-must bring a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence. A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 19 or older or is an emancipated minor under state law.
All student absences must be verified in writing by a parent. Written verification of the absence must be received by the school attendance office within 48 hours of a student’s return to school. Documented phone calls will not take the place of a note sent to school by the parents. It is best to submit a handwritten note directly to the attendance office. However a faxed copy of a parent’s note or a scanned and e-mailed copy of a parent’s note is acceptable. Both faxed and e-mailed notes must have an original parent’s signature (not a typed, cursive font). An e-mail note will only be accepted when received from the parent’s e-mail address on file with the school. If a note is not received within 48 hours of a student’ return, the absence then becomes unexcused.
All notes from parents should include the following: full legal name of student, student’s grade, date of absence, reason for absence, parent’s signature, parent’s phone number, and current date.
Excused absences are those for personal illness, quarantine, weather or road conditions making travel hazardous, or any other unusual cases acceptable to the principal. Unusual cases must have prior approval by the principal.
Absences due to family vacations, family obligations/functions or any non-emergency travel will not be excused.
Absences Due to Funerals
With PRIOR approval, excused absences for funeral services will be limited to 3 days for local funeral services and 5 days for out-of-state funeral services. Any absences beyond these limits will be entered as unexcused, unless the Principal exercises discretion. Upon returning to school, the student must provide, the relationship of the deceased to the student, dates missed, location of funeral and parent signature. Students may submit any additional supporting documentation as well
Doctor’s Note After an Absence for Illness
Upon returning to school, a student absent for more than 3 consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school. Otherwise, the student’s absence may be considered unexcused and, if so, would be considered to be in violation of compulsory attendance laws.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absences from school in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.