1 Enrollment and Attendance


  • Birth Certificate
  • Certification of Immunization
  • Parent/Guardian Photo Identification (address must match the address on the primary proof of residence).
  • A copy of the official residents primary proof of residence:
    • Home mortgage statement OR
    • Builder’s Agreement OR
    • Purchase Agreement OR
    • Beltrami/Hubbard County property tax statement OR
    • Current gas, electricity or water bill (within the last 30 days) OR
    • Lease/rental agreement (must list the names of the parents/guardians living in the rental unit, plus the manager’s name and phone number.
  • If you have a Beltrami/Hubbard/Cass case number (TANF/SNAP).
  • Custody Papers, if applicable (court order of custody of stamped petition is acceptable).
  • Registration into Bemidji Area Schools can be done at the District Office at 502 Minnesota Avenue.

Elementary Attendance Information

Compulsory Attendance Law

The Minnesota statutes require that all children between the ages of seven and seventeen, mentally and physically fit, must attend school every day that it is in session.

Truancy and Educational Neglect

As per Minnesota Statute 260A.01, an elementary student is considered a continuing truant when there have been three or more unexcused absences without a lawful excuse.   Habitual truant is a child under the age of 17 years who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for seven school days if the child is in elementary school.  Parents who do not send their children to school regularly may be charged with educational neglect.  Educational neglect is legally defined as a parent’s failure to ensure the child’s regular attendance at school.

Consistent Attendance

The federal ESSA legislation insists upon consistent attendance (90% or better/ excused or unexcused days) and hold public schools accountable for improving student attendance.  Minnesota state law outlines the expectations for students to attend school.

Attendance Incentives

Each school has established an internal attendance incentive program to promote good attendance, along with providing strategies to assist students and families with attendance problems.

School Times Earliest Drop Off Start Dismiss
Northern Elementary 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
Lincoln Elementary 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
J.W. Smith 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
Central Elementary 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
Horace May Elementary 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
Solway Elementary 7:30 am 7:55 am 2:40 pm
Gene Dillon Elementary 7:40 am 8:10 am 2:55 pm

Students are considered tardy at 8:05 am for Northern, Lincoln, J.W. Smith, Central, Horace May, and Solway Elementaries. Students are considered tardy at Gene Dillon at 8:15 am. It is vital for students to participate in morning Responsive Classroom programming to start their day successfully.

Early Dismissal of Students

No elementary school child shall be permitted to leave school prior to dismissal time except at the request of a parent/guardian for pre-scheduled appointment.  In this case, the designated person must sign the child out at the school office. For the safety of our students and security of the building, all visitors to the building will enter the front doors (all other doors are locked from the outside) leading directly into the office.  Office staff will call your child from class or have them sent to the office. *Please note that the scheduled school dismissal time is 2:40 pm (2:55 pm for Gene Dillon). We will not interrupt the classroom to remove students early as it affects the important closing Responsive Classroom routines of the day for elementary-aged students. 

Out of Area Student Attendance 

For students who attend school outside of their home school attendance area, there will be certain attendance criteria that must be met.  The absence/tardy rate shall be no more than 5 tardies/absences per quarter.  If the child does not meet the criteria, it is at the Principal’s discretion to send the student back to his/her neighborhood school.  Out of Area applications must be completed annually through the District office.

Open Enrollment 

Applications for enrollment under the Enrollment Options will be approved within the District rules of capacity for grade levels and programs. Standards may be used for rejection of applications. The school district may terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student enrolled at any time during the year upon the student receiving multiple disciplinary referrals or receiving disciplinary referrals that result in out of school suspension.  Details of Open Enrollment Policy are in under SB- 700-10-1.

Reporting Absences

Because we are concerned for your child’s safety and well-being, we ask that you notify the school the morning the student is absent or by 10:00 AM the following day.  Failure to do this will result in the student receiving an unexcused absence.  Whenever possible, parents should try to schedule appointments outside the school day.

Skylert System will contact parents of unexcused students after the school day has begun (9:00 AM) to ensure their location and learn of the reason for the absence.

Please notify the school if your child will miss school due to a family vacation prior to the event.  Please contact the teacher to request makeup work so the student can keep up with their assignments.

Excused Absence 

An excused absence indicates an acceptable absence from school or class with parent/guardian.  Full credit is given for all makeup work. The school recommends two days to make up for each one day absent; however, teachers may extend the make-up time as they see fit. The following absences are considered excused:

  1. Illness of the student. A doctor’s excuse may be required after three days.
  2. Scheduled appointments- ex. Doctor/dentist/orthodontist.
  3. Death in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative
  4. Court appearance occasioned by family or personal action
  5. Religious holiday or observance
  6. Physical emergency conditions such as fire or flood
  7. Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension. Suspensions will be handled, as excused absences and a student will be permitted to complete make-up work.

Unexcused Absence

An unexcused absence indicates that the student is absent from school or class without the consent of the parent/guardian.

  1. Unverified absences by parent/guardian without contacting the school
  2. 3 tardies will equal 1 unexcused absence per quarter

Support for Student Attendance

All elementary schools follow district approved procedures that promote regular student attendance and prevent absenteeism and truancy. When possible, the district will work with other organizations and agencies to support regular student attendance.  Student attendance will be considered for review and possible intervention any time after a student is absent or tardy three or more school days (not consecutive, excused or unexcused).  A weekly review meeting is held to identify attendance problems.

Bemidji Elementary School Attendance Policy

Attendance habits begin in the primary grades.  Frequent absences interfere with the learning process and leave students at high risk for educational failure.  Students at the elementary level have limited control over circumstances in the home, which may prevent them from getting to school regularly and on time.  Bemidji Area Schools believes that the primary responsibility for student attendance at the elementary level falls on the parents/guardians.  Attendance monitors work in each building to assist students, parents and school personnel.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Students are to attend class on time.
  2. Students should be familiar with the attendance policy.
  3. Students are responsible for completing missed assignments in a timely manner as defined by the teacher.
  4. Students may not leave school grounds without permission for any reason.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities:

  1. Parents are expected to insure that their children attend school.
  2. Parents shall inform the school of absences no later than 10:00 a.m. the day after an absence.
  3. Parents should help their children in completing their make-up work.
  4. Parents should schedule student appointments outside the school day to minimize the impact of his/her absence on attendance.
  5. Frequent illness-related excuses may require an Appointment Notification from the medical provider after three consecutive days. A doctor’s note may be required to excuse an absence.
  6. Frequent tardies (3 tardies equal 1 unexcused absence per quarter) will be addressed in relation to absences.

Teacher Responsibilities:

  1. Teachers will take attendance daily using the automated, on-line Skyward System.
  2. When a student is absent, teachers will inform the student of the assignments they have missed and when they are due.
  3. Teachers will encourage students to attend school and will report frequent absences.
  4. Teachers are expected to communicate concerns about attendance to parents and administration.

Administrative Responsibilities:

  1. Principals will inform teachers and parents of the attendance policy.
  2. Principals will insure that procedures to address attendance concerns are developed as needed.
  3. Principals are expected to facilitate communication with parents when student attendance becomes a concern and encourage parents to remediate any attendance problems.
  4. Principals will ensure that attendance of students will be monitored on a weekly basis.  Parents or guardians will be contacted when attendance concerns (absences and tardies) are noted.

Attendance Intervention procedures

First Intervention:

  1. Student attendance concerns are reviewed at an attendance review meeting.
  2. A decision is made at the review meeting whether intervention is warranted.
  3. If intervention is warranted, the attendance monitor team will contact the parent by letter.
  4. Review the student’s attendance the following week.
  5. If improvement is made, no further interventions are necessary.

Second Intervention:

  • Principal or designated person contacts the parent/guardian by phone or letter.
  • Principal or designated person requests a parent attendance contract meeting to discuss how to improve attendance.

Third and subsequent Interventions:

  • Attendance monitor team may make a home visit.
  • If there is no improvement after the contract meeting, a referral will be made to local Social Service Agencies.







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