A plain language version of the School District’s Attendance Policy follows. A full version of this policy is available on the Board of Education section of the district website, policy 5100.
“ATEDs” are defined as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school
Regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. The board created this policy for the following reasons:
- To minimize the number of unexcused absences, tardiness, and early departures
- To encourage full attendance by all students
- To maintain an adequate attendance recordkeeping system
- To identify patterns of student attendance issues
- To develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.
To ensure that students, parents, teachers, and administrators are notified of and understand this policy, the following procedures shall be implemented:
- A plain language summary of this attendance policy will be included in student handbooks and will be reviewed with students at the start of the school year.
- Parents will receive a plain language summary of this policy electronically at the start of the school year. Parents will be asked to acknowledge/digitally sign indicating that they have read and understand the policy.
- When a student is habitually absent (at least 1 time a week), tardy, or leaves early from class or school without excuse, a school staff member will:
- Notify the student’s parent/guardian(s) by phone, mail, email, or messaging platform of the specific attendance issue
- Remind the parents/guardian(s) of this attendance policy
- Review attendance intervention procedures with them
- The district will share this policy with local Child Protective Services (CPS) to ensure a common understanding of excused and unexcused attendance and to work toward identifying and addressing cases of educational neglect.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Excused ATEDs are defined as absences, tardiness, and early departures from class or school due to:
- personal illness
- illness or death in the family
- impassable roads or weather
- religious observance
- required court appearances
- Doctor/health clinic visits
- Approved college visits.
- Approved cooperative work programs
- Military obligations
- Such other reasons which may be approved by the building principal (including, but not limited to, absences due to circumstances related to homelessness).
All other reasons are considered unexcused absences.
All ATEDs must be accounted for. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school office within 24 hours of the ATED and to provide a written excuse upon the student’s return to school.
For homeless students, the homeless liaison will assist the student in providing or obtaining documentation if needed. Parent/guardian signatures for homeless unaccompanied youth are addressed in policy 5151 and regulation 5151-R.
- A student will be considered chronically absent if they miss 10% or more of the school year (18+days each year, or 2+ days each month).
- Satisfactory attendance is missing 5% or less of school over the course of the year (9 days or less).
- If a pattern of ATEDs for an individual student is identified a staff member will follow-up in accordance with this policy.
If a student is learning in a remote situation, they will need to show daily school participation, which is to be recorded by teachers and reported under the provisions of this policy.
The district will design and implement systems to acknowledge a student’s efforts to maintain or improve school attendance. For example:
- At the building and classroom levels, Building Administrators and teachers are encouraged to schedule special events (quizzes, game days, debates, etc.) for days of chronically high absenteeism, like Mondays and Fridays.
- At the classroom levels, teachers are encouraged to assign special responsibilities (distribute and collect materials, lead groups, assist the teacher, etc.) to students who may need extra motivation to come to school.
Consequences of Excessive ATEDs
Teachers will contact the student’s parents and the student’s school counselor in the event that a student’s record reveals excessive ATED’s, whether excused and/or unexcused. When speaking to the parents/guardian(s), teachers will:
- Remind parents/guardian(s) of the attendance policy
- Explain the ramifications of excessive ATEDs
- Stress the importance of class attendance
- Discuss appropriate intervention strategies to correct the situation
If attendance does not improve, those penalties may include:
- Denial of the privilege of participating in or attending extracurricular events.
Absences related to homelessness shall not result in negative consequences where the district determines that it would be in the best interests of the student in retaining the student in school.
In addition, a staff member will contact local Child Protective Services (CPS) if they suspect that the child is being educationally neglected. The designated staff member will provide CPS with the information necessary to initiate a report. If other staff members suspect education neglect, they must follow the procedures outlined in Board policy and regulation 5460, Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting.
There is an important connection between class attendance and student performance. Each marking period a student’s final grade may be based on classroom participation as well as student performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Consistent with the importance of classroom participation, unexcused absences will affect a student’s class participation grade for the marking period.
Students with excused absences may make up the work for each absence. The teacher will advise the student and contact the parent/guardian(s) by phone, mail, email, or messaging platform at appropriate intervals prior to the student reaching 9 or 18 unexcused ATEDs.
Students who are unable to attend school or a class on a given day due to their participation in a school-sponsored activity (i.e., music lessons, field trips), may arrange with their teachers to make-up any missing work. This also applies to any student who is absent, tardy or leaves early from school or a class due to illness or any other excused reason.
All students with an excused ATED are expected upon their return to speak with their teachers regarding missed work.
Students who are absent will be given the opportunity to make up a test or other missed work and/or turn in a late assignment for inclusion in their final grade. Make-up opportunities must be completed by a date specified by the student’s teacher for the class in question.
(If the child has been in an alternate setting such as a hospital, etc only 25% of the work will be required to be made up over an extended period).