FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ATTENDANCE
1. Why must my child or children attend school?
2. Who is subject to the compulsory attendance law?
· A child shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is provided.
· A child who is at least six years of age, or who is younger than six years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached the child's 19th birthday shall attend school.
· On enrollment in prekindergarten or kindergarten, a child shall attend school.
3. When is the student in violation of the compulsory attendance law?
If a student is absent from school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year.
4. What happens if a student is in violation of the compulsory attendance law?
If a student fails to attend school without excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period, a school district shall refer a student to truancy court within 10 school days of the student’s 10th absence.
5. What happens to the parent if a student is in violation of the compulsory attendance law?
· A school district may still file a complaint for criminal prosecution against a parent.
· State law has been amended to include that this offense may be punishable by fine only with fines ranging from $100 for the first offense to $500 for fifth or subsequent offenses.
6. What is an unexcused absence?
· An unexcused absence is an absence that does not fall within state law, district policy, or district procedure.
· An unexcused absence occurs when the parent cannot produce any documentation that explains the absence or the parent presents documentation that does not meet district policy or district procedures.
7. How many days do I have to submit a justification for an unexcused absence?
Recorded unexcused absences (U) will remain as unexcused absences (U) if acceptable documentation is not received after the student’s return to school.
8. Attendance for Credit or Final Grade (Kindergarten Through Grade 12)
Can my child be given credit or be promoted if he/she is attendance less than 90% of the school days?
To receive credit or a final grade in a class, a student must attend the class at least 90 percent of the days it is offered. A student who attends fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered will be referred to the attendance review committee. The committee will determine whether there are extenuating circumstances for the absences and how the student can regain credit or a final grade. [See policy FEC for more information.]
All absences, excused or unexcused, may be held against a student’s attendance requirement. To determine whether there were extenuating circumstances for any absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:
- If makeup work is completed, absences listed under Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance in Student Handbook will be considered extenuating circumstances.
- A transfer or migrant student incurs absences only after he or she has enrolled in the district.
- Per FM (LOCAL) policy, students shall be allowed in a school year a maximum of 15 extracurricular absences not related to post-district competition; however, a student shall be allowed unlimited absences for participation in post-district, state, or national competition.
- The committee will consider the acceptability and authenticity of documented reasons for the student’s absences
- The committee will consider whether the student or student’s parents had any control over the absences.
- The committee will consider the extent to which the student has completed all assignments, mastered the essential knowledge and skills, and maintained passing grades in the course or subject.
- The student or parent will be given an opportunity to present any information to the committee about the absences and discuss ways to earn or regain credit or a final grade.
The student or parent may appeal the committee’s decision to the board by following policy FNG(LOCAL).