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Series 503.2AR - High School Student Attendance

Adopted: October 1994
Revised: July 2021

1. Expectation – Excessive absences may have adverse consequences due to the inability of students to keep up with course assignments, activities, assessments, etc. With the exception of the school-authorized and verified absences noted below, high school students are expected to attend every class every day.

2. Excessive Absence Rule – Notification/Intervention Process

2.1 Each student’s attendance, grade and discipline incidents are recorded electronically and available to parents online.

2.2 When a student reaches his or her seventh absence in a specific trimester course (or five absences at schools on a quarter system), notification of the absences will be communicated to the student’s parent/guardian. This notification will also advise that there may be adverse consequences, which may include loss of credit due to the student’s inability to keep up with course assignments, activities, course assessments, etc.

2.3 When the number of a student’s absences reaches 10 in one trimester (or eight in one quarter), excluding absences specified in section 3.1 below, the school’s designated administrator will review and investigate the reasons for the absences and determine a course of action which may include one or more of the following:

2.3.1 Parent meeting;

2.3.2 Parent meeting with teacher(s) and counselor, and/or

2.3.3 Development of an attendance intervention plan.

3. Types of Absences

3.1 Absences which are not counted in the excessive absence rule include, but are not limited to:

3.1.1 School-sponsored curricular and cocurricular activities;

3.1.2 Official religious holidays and religious observances;

3.1.3 Death of an immediate family member (parent, step-parent, guardian, sibling, grandparent);

3.1.4 Unique or emergency circumstances which are authorized (or, whenever possible, pre-authorized) by a school administrator;

3.1.5 Chronic or long-term illnesses which are verified by a doctor’s signed statement and authorized by a school administrator;

3.1.6 Authorized appointments with school personnel;

3.1.7 Military deployment of a family member, and

3.1.8 In-school suspension, out-of-school suspension and transitional study hall (removal from class for one or more class periods).

3.2 Absences which are counted in the excessive absence rule include, but are not limited to:

3.2.1 Verified – Absences which are verified by the parent/guardian with reasons accepted by the school. Accepted reasons are: Illness; Medical or dental appointments that cannot be made outside of school time, and Pre-authorized, pre-planned absences of one day or more. This must be arranged prior (preferably at least one week) to
the absence in order to be verified.

3.2.2 Unexcused – Unexcused absences will be treated with responses in accordance with the behavior expectations and consequences for behavior outlined in district policy and administrative regulation. Unexcused absences occur when a student chooses to be absent from school without school approval. Responses which may include, but are not limited to, detention and in-school or out-of-school suspension will be assigned to students who have unexcused absences. Students with unexcused absences from one or more class periods on seven school days per year may be identified as truant and subject to Administrative Regulation 503.2.1AR, Truancy, in compliance with state law on compulsory instruction.

3.2.3 Tardies – Tardies are defined as being late to class without a pass. Responses such as detention and in-school or out-of-school suspension may be assigned to students with excessive tardies.

4. Make-Up Work – Class absences necessitate make-up work, which, if not completed on time, may lead to failure or incomplete grades. Teachers must allow students to complete missed work, assignments, tests, quizzes, etc., but it is the student’s responsibility to consult their teacher about absences from class and required make-up work. Students generally have two days per day of absence in which to turn in make-up work.