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Attendance Policy

It is important that parents understand the rules on attendance.  Children can only be absent for three reasons: illness, doctor’s appointment, or bereavement for immediate family.  If a student is not in school for any other reason they are marked as truant. The word “truant” is the legal term for breaking the law of compulsory education.  All children must be in school by law. Parents must call the school or write a note to verify an absence.  Our office staff will inform parents when a reason for an absence is not valid and therefore a truancy.  It is also a truancy if a child is late by more than 30 minutes or picked up from school early by more than 30 minutes without a valid reason such as a doctor’s appointment. 

If a child is absent for more than 14 days in a year for illness, this is considered excessive absence.  After 14 days the parent is required to have a doctor’s note verifying that the child is truly ill.  Without this note the absences after 14 days are truancies. After three truancies, parents receive a legally mandated letter that explains that their child is truant.  There are strong warnings on the letter.  If there is another truancy, then parents receive a second letter and are mandated to meet with the principal to avoid the designation of “habitual truant.”  If a third letter is issued then the parents are to be scheduled for a hearing with the district School Attendance Review Board (SARB).  The last step in this process is a referral to the District Attorney where parents can be cited and fined for violation of the law.  Please be compliant with these policies for the education of your children.  Our school district is taking a very serious stand on student attendance.

The primary reason for schools to focus on attendance is student achievement.  The secondary reason is that schools are funded on the basis of students being present in class.  If a student is not in school, regardless of the reason, the school district loses $25.  With the old system from about 10 years ago, we received funding for excused absences.  This is no longer the case.  At the district level, an increase of one percent in Average Daily Attendance is worth $700,000.