- 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.
- 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.
General Statement of Policy
- The School Day: In accordance with the regulations of the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning and the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minn. Stat. 120A.22, the students of the school district are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes and/or study halls every day the school is in session, unless the student has a valid excuse for absence. The school day normally starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m.
- Responsibilities: The responsibility for attendance is shared by the student, parents, and school. Students must attend all assigned homerooms, classes and/or study halls every day school is in session. Excessive absences, as discussed below, may result in loss of credit.
Attendance Procedures: Handbook attendance procedures apply to all students in grades K-12. A student will be considered absent when he or she is not in school.
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family.
- A death in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative.
- Medical or dental treatment. If at all possible, students and their parents or guardians will schedule appointments to correspond to non-school days, or in a manner such that the student will miss as little school time as possible. A note from the doctor will be required after three consecutive absences.
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action.
- Religious instruction not to exceed three hours in any week.
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc
- Official school field trip (e.g. athletic or academic trips) or other school-sponsored outing, including approved extra-curricular activities, unless a student is on the academic ineligibility list and has not completed the same reinstatement as required for athletics.
- 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.
- Family vacations, the school office must be notified in advance in writing so student work is requested before the trip. It is strongly recommended that any missed assignments be completed and turned in to teachers, upon the student’s return.
- Post-secondary school visits or meetings with military enlistment (three visits are allowed).
- Driver’s Education Absences.
Unexcused Absences, Non-truant: The following are examples of absences which will NOT be excused:
- Any absence in which the student failed to comply with any reporting requirements of the school district’s attendance procedures.
- Work at a home.
- Work at a business, except under a school-sponsored work release program.
- Vacations with family not in accordance with the reporting requirementsof the school district’s attendance procedures.
- Excessive personal trips to schools or colleges.
- Any other absence not included under the attendance procedures set out in this policy
Unexcused Absences, Truancy: Truancy is an absence by a student which was not approved by the parent and/or school district.
- No note, phone call, or email is presented.
- The note produced by the student is verifiably inaccurate or is a forgery.
- Missed bus
- In order for absences to be excused, the student must bring a note from the student’s parent or guardian or the medical or dental office stating the reason for the absence. In the alternative, a parent or guardian may call or email the school with an honest and valid reason for the absence and the date of the absence.
- If no note, phone call, or email is presented, the school will attempt to call the parent/guardian.
- The school is to be notified in advance for any period of a family vacation to be considered an excused absence.
- The office will issue an admit slip, which is to be shown to teachers prior to readmission to a class following an absence. No student will be readmitted to class without this slip. Admit slips should be picked up from the office before classes begin.
- The superintendent may develop additional regulations for the reporting or recording of absences.
Consequences of Absences
Consequences of Excused Absences
- 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.
- Work missed because of absence must be made up within a reasonable time frame set by the teacher from the date of the student’s return to school (usually two days for each one day of absence). 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 circumstances. Points may be deducted from late assignments at a teachers discretion.
- Participation Grade – A daily participation grade may be given in a class. Students with an excused absence must be given the opportunity to make up their participation grade. The classroom teacher will determine what make up is acceptable. Students with unexcused absences, truancies, or those who choose to not make up participation points, will lose their daily participation grade.
Consequences of Unexcused Absences
In cases of 5 or more unexcused absences, the administration may also request the county attorney to file a petition with the juvenile court, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes.
Students with unexcused absences shall be subject to discipline in the following manner:
- For the first 5 or more unexcused absences per quarter, the student will not be allowed to make up work missed due to such absences.
- After the 3rd cumulated unexcused absence in a quarter, a student’s parent or guardian will be notified by mail that his or her child is nearing a total of 5 unexcused absences in a quarter.
- After such notification that student, or his or her parent or guardian may, within a reasonable time, request a conference with school officials regarding the student’s absences and the prescribed discipline. The notification will state that the school strongly urges the student’s parent or guardian to request such a conference
- Upon 10 cumulated unexcused absences in a semester, the administration may impose the loss of academic credit in the class or classes from which the student has been absent. However, prior to loss of credit, an administrative conference must be held between the principal, student and parent. An appeal conference may take place upon initiative by either the student or the parent.
Tardiness: Students are expected to be in their classrooms at designated times. Failure to do so constitutes tardiness.
Excused Tardiness : Valid excuses for tardiness must meet the same criteria as for an excused absence, and be for one of the following grounds:
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
- A death in the student’s immediate family, or of a close friend or relative;
- Medical or dental treatment;
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action;
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
- Any tardiness for which the student has been excused in writing by an administrator or faculty member.
Unexcused Tardiness: An unexcused tardiness is failing to arrive in an assigned area at the time the class period commences without a valid excuse. Examples of invalid excuses include sleeping in, visiting and other personal excuses.
Tardiness between periods will be handled by the classroom teacher and entered into the gradebook system.
Consequences of Tardiness
Teachers must mark latecomers to any class hour tardy unless they have a pass or other form of admit slip.
Consequences of unexcused tardiness include detention according to the following:
- 1st Tardy = Warning by teacher
- 2nd Tardy = Warning by principal.
- 3rd Tardy = Lunch detention
- 4th Tardy = Parent and Student conference with Administration. In addition every 4 unexcused tardies are equivalent to one unexcused absence.
Closed Campus: The school campus is a closed campus which means students are not allowed to leave the school grounds at any time during the regular school day without specific approval from the principal.
- Any student leaving school for any reason during the school day MUST check with the principal and sign-out.
- Students also MUST sign-in in the office, if they return to school during the school day.
- Early dismissals will be granted only if a parent or guardian advises the school in advance by phone, note, or email AND it is cleared with the principal.
- Students who fail to meet the closed campus requirements may be charged with an unexcused absence, depending on the circumstances, and could face disciplinary action.
- Out-of-school individuals are prohibited from picking up students during the lunch break and from loitering with students on the school grounds.
- Visitors must register with the office upon arrival at the building and must receive a visitor’s pass before entering the building further.
- Parents who wish to allow their child to leave during lunch must indicate that with written permission turned into the office, prior to leaving. It should be made clear if the note is intended for a one time use or if their child has permission to leave for the entire school year. (If a student owes a noon detention, that overrides parent permission to leave for lunch.)
Participation in Extracurricular Activities and School-Sponsored On-the-Job Training Programs
- 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.
- School-initiated absences will be accepted and participation permitted.
- A student may not participate in any activity or program, if he or she has an unexcused absence from any class during the day.
- If a student is suspended from any class, he or she may be excluded to participate in any activity or program that day.
- 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 to the coach or advisor before the student participates in the activity or program.
Continuing Truant: Minn. Stat 260A.02 provides that a continuing truant is a student who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of Minn. Stat. 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in school, as defined in Minn. Stat. 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for:
- Three days if the child is in elementary school; or
- Three or more days if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school.
Reporting Responsibility: When a student is initially classified as a continuing truant, Minn. Stat. 260A.03 provides that the school attendance officer or other designated school official shall notify the student’s parent or legal guardian, by first class mail or other reasonable means, of the following:
- That the child is truant;
- That the parent or guardian should notify the school if there is a valid excuse for the child’s absences;
- That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the childat school pursuant to Minn. Stat. 120A.22 and parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be subject to prosecution under Minn. Stat. 120A.34;
- That this notification serves as the notification required by Minn. Stat. 120A.34;
- That alternative educational programs and services may be available in the district;
- That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the child’s truancy;
- That if the child continues to be truant, the parent and child may be subject to juvenile court proceedings under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260;
- That if the child is subject to juvenile court proceedings, the child may be subject to suspension, restrictions, or delay of the child’s driving privilege pursuant to Minn. Stat. 260C.201; and
- That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the child to school and attend classes with the child for one day.
- An habitual truant is a child under the age of 16 years who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for five school days if the child is in elementary school or for five or more class periods on seven school days if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school, or a child who is 16 or 17 years of age who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for one or more class periods on seven school days and who has not lawfully withdrawn from school.
- A school district attendance officer shall refer a habitual truant child and the child’s parent or legal guardian to appropriate services and procedures, under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A.
Dissemination of Policy: Copies of this policy shall be made available to all students and parents at the commencement of each school year. This policy shall also be available upon request in each principals’ office.
Perfect Attendance: Perfect attendance awards will be distributed at the end of each school year to those students who were in attendance each day of the school year. A student may have no more than three excused tardies and can have no unexcused tardies to be eligible for the award. A student will be allowed one half day absence for taking his/her driver’s examination and still be eligible for perfect attendance.
Excuse From Class: No teacher has the authority to excuse you from some other class unless it is by prior agreement with that teacher, or sanctioned by the principal. There should be no movement within the school during scheduled class periods without a student planner. Students must get a pass in their planner before leaving any classroom or school area to travel to another area of the school. Infractions of this rule will follow the guidelines set forth in the code of consequences which can be found in the student handbook.