STUDENT ATTENDANCE

I. PURPOSE

A. The School Board believes that regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this policy is to encourage regular school attendance. It is intended to be positive and not punitive.
B. This policy also recognizes that class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, teacher and administrators. This policy will assist students in attending class.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. Responsibilities

1. Student's Responsibility
It is the student’s right to be in school. It is also the student’s responsibility to attend all assigned classes including study hall, lyceum, pep-fest, lunch, and other school-related activities every day that school is in session and to be aware of and follow the correct procedures when absent from an assigned class or study hall. Finally, it is the student’s responsibility to request any missed assignments due to an absence.
2. Parent or Guardian’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the student’s parent or guardian to ensure the student is attending school, to inform the school in the event of a student absence, and to work cooperatively with the school and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.
3. Teacher’s Responsibility
It is the teacher’s responsibility to take daily attendance and to maintain accurate attendance records in each assigned class and study hall. It is also the teacher’s responsibility to be familiar with all procedures governing attendance and to apply these procedures uniformly. It is also the teacher’s
responsibility to provide any student who has been absent with any missed assignments upon request. Finally, it is the teacher’s responsibility to work cooperatively with the student’s parent or guardian and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.
4. Administrator’s Responsibility
a. It is the administrator’s responsibility to require students to attend all assigned classes and study halls. It is also the administrator’s responsibility to be familiar with all procedures governing attendance and to apply these procedures uniformly to all students, to maintain accurate records on student attendance and to prepare a list of the previous day’s absences stating the status of each. Finally, it is the administrator’s responsibility to inform the student’s parent or guardian of the student’s attendance and to work cooperatively with them and the student to solve attendance problems.
b. In accordance with Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minn. Stat. § 120.101, the students of the School District are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes and/or study halls every day school is in session, unless the student has been excused by the School Board from attendance because the student has already completed state and School District standards required to graduate from high school, has withdrawn, or has a valid excuse for absence.
c. School administrators will make the final determination if an absence is unexcused or excused, even with a signed note from the parent.

B. Attendance Procedures

1. Excused Absences
a. To be considered an excused absence, the student’s parent or legal guardian may be asked to verify, in writing, the reason for the student’s absence from school. A note from a physician or a licensed mental health professional stating that the student cannot attend school is a valid excuse.
b. The following reasons shall be sufficient to constitute excused absences:
(1) Illness.
(2) Serious illness or emergency in the student’s immediate family.
(3) A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative.
(4) Medical, dental, or orthodontic treatment or a counseling appointment.
(5) Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action.
(6) Pre-approved religious instruction.
(7) Pre-approved family vacation (up to five days per academic year). Unique situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
(8) Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
(9) Official college visits, school field trip, or other school-sponsored outing.
(10) Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension. Suspensions are to be handled as excused absences and students will be permitted to complete make-up work.
(11) Active duty in any military branch.
(12) A student’s condition that requires ongoing treatment for a mental health diagnosis.
c. Consequences of Excused Absences
(1) Students whose absences are excused are required to make up all assignments missed or to complete alternative assignments as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher.
(2) Work missed because of absence must be made up within two days from the date of the student’s return to school. Any work not completed within this period shall result in “no credit” for the missed assignment. However, the building principal or the classroom teacher may extend the time allowed for completion of make-up work in the case of an extended illness or other extenuating circumstances.
2. Unexcused Absences
a. The following are examples of absences, which will not be excused:
(1) Truancy. An absence by a student which was not approved by the parent and/or the School District.
(2) Any absence in which the student failed to comply with any reporting requirements of the School District's attendance procedures. (i.e. leaving class early without permission)
(3) Work at a business, except under a school-sponsored work release program.
(4) Personal trips to schools or colleges.
(5) Absences resulting from cumulated unexcused tardies (three (3) tardies equal one unexcused absence).
(6) Any other absence not included under the attendance procedures set out in this policy.
b. Consequences of Unexcused Absences
(1) Absences resulting from official suspension will be handled in accordance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 127.26-127.39.
(2) Days during which a student is suspended from school shall not be counted in a student’s total cumulated unexcused absences.
(3) In cases of recurring unexcused absences, the administration may also request the county attorney to file a petition with the juvenile court, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes.
(4) Students with unexcused absences shall be subject to discipline in the following manner:
In the secondary, (7-12) consequences will include a classroom component and office
intervention. Office staff will administer progressive consequences to make up time missed;
including detention, in-school suspension, parent meeting, loss of privileges, and contact of County Juvenile Justice authority.
1. When a student receives an unexcused absence they will receive a yellow card for attendance recovery. This card will notify the student that he/she will need to make-up their unexcused absence time in the after school program prior to the end of the semester. Failure to do so could result in a grade reduction.
2. If a student does not make up the hours necessary for unexcused absences in a class, grade reductions (i.e. B+ to B) will be assessed as follows:
1-3 Unexcused Absences in a class
4-6 Unexcused Absences in a class
7-9 Unexcused Absences in a class
10 or more Unexcused Absences in a class
1 grade increment reduction
2 grade increment reduction
3 grade increment reduction
Failure of the class
(a) In the elementary, (K-6) consequences will include an office intervention.

1. First unexcused absence. Parents will be contacted about the unexcused absence and the school will request information that may clarify the absence.
2. Second unexcused absence. A phone call to the parents explaining the situation, requesting help in clearing up the absences, and a reminder that students need to be in attendance at school. A follow-up letter will also be sent.
3. Third and fourth unexcused absence. A parental meeting will be scheduled to discuss the unexcused absences, solutions to the problem and future consequences if there is a fifth absence.
4. Fifth unexcused absence. Notify Wabasha County Social Services and follow Wabasha County truancy procedures
C. Tardiness
1. Definition: Students are expected to be in their assigned area at designated times. Failure to do so constitutes tardiness.
2. Procedures for Reporting Tardiness
a. Students tardy at the start of school must report to the school office for an admission slip.
b. Tardiness between periods will be handled by the teacher.
3. Excused Tardiness. Valid excuses for tardiness are:
a. Illness;
b. Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
c. A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative;
d. Medical, dental treatment, or orthodontic, or mental health treatment;
e. court appearances occasioned by family or personal action;
f. physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc;
g. any tardiness for which the student has been excused in writing by an administrator or faculty member.
4. Unexcused Tardiness
a. An unexcused tardy is failing to be in an assigned area at the designated time without a valid excuse.
b. Consequences of being tardy may include detention after three
unexcused tardies. In addition, three unexcused tardies from the same class are equivalent to one unexcused absence (refer to previous consequences of unexcused absences).
D. Participation in Extracurricular Activities and School-Sponsored On-the-Job Training Programs
1. This policy applies to all students involved in any extracurricular activity scheduled either during or outside the school day and any school-sponsored on-the-job training programs.
2. School-initiated absences will be accepted and participation permitted.
3. A student may not participate in any activity or program if he or she has an unexcused absence from any class during the day.
4. A student may not participate in any activity or program when serving a suspension (in-school or out of school) or dismissed from school for disciplinary reasons.
5. If a student is dismissed (removed from class for violation of rules) from any class, he or she may not participate in any activity or program that day.
6. If a student is absent from school due to medical reasons, he or she must present a physician’s statement or a statement from the student’s parent or guardian clearing the student for participation that day. The note must be presented before the student participates in the activity or program.
7. If a student is excused due to illness during any part of the day, then he/she is not eligible to participate in any extracurricular activities that day.