Regular attendance at school is vital to educational development. If students are absent from school due to illness or for another legitimate reason, they must bring a written excuse signed by their parent, legal guardian or doctor. Students and parents/guardians have three days to verify tardiness or absences, after which they are coded unlawful. Parents/guardians are expected to call the school by the third day of consecutive absences.
Policy states that students at the elementary level with eight unlawful absences might be considered for retention. Secondary level students with two or more unlawful absences in a course during a quarter will, with proper notification, receive a failing grade in that course for that quarter. School officials adhere to the following communication plan:
- After 5 absences of any kind, the school (at the principal's discretion) may notify parents/guardians through either a letter sent home or by phone.
- After 10 absences, parents/guardians are contacted. A meeting may be set to develop an attendance plan.
- After 15 absences, the student is referred to the school's pupil personnel worker.
- After 21 absences, the student is scheduled for a school attendance hearing.
A student is counted present for a full day if the student is in attendance four or more hours of the school day. A student is counted present for 1/2 day if in attendance for at least two hours of the school day, but less than four hours. A student scheduled for less than a full day is to be counted present based on the amount of time he/she is scheduled.
If absences continue following the school attendance hearing, the student may be suspended to the Superintendent. Students and/or parents/guardians may be referred to the office of the State's Attorney for possible legal action if the child is found to be chronically truant.
Note: These requirements do not apply to Chronically Health-Impaired Program (CHIP) students, students on home teaching or those with medical excuses.
Process to Request a Code 13 Excused Absence
A CODE 13 is defined as "Other emergency or set of circumstances which, in the judgement of the Superintendent or designee, constitutes a good and sufficient cause for absence from school for up to five school days per school year, including an educational trip or unique life experience. A vacation is not considered an educational trip or a unique life experience"
In order to request an excused absence under code 13, parents/guardians must complete the below form and submit it to Ms. Garcia Dixon (email@example.com) via email at least two weeks in advance. For a student(s) to receive grades for make-up work, documentation from the event will be required (examples may include a program from the event, or letters from organizations with official signature requesting the presence of the student). Attach letters to this request or bring a program from the event to the school administration to receive make-up work. To receive full credit, make-up work is due within three school days following the student’s date of return. Late work rules set by the school will apply after the three days.
School administrators cannot approve Code 13 absences.