At VES, we believe that consistent, daily attendance is incredibly important and is directly related to students’ academic success and graduation rates. Our contract with students/families requires an attendance rate of 90% or no more than 17 absences throughout the school year.
The Minnesota Compulsory Attendance Law requires that all students of school age attend school until they reach the age of 18.
VES recognizes that school attendance is the joint responsibility between the student, parents/guardians, and staff. Parents/guardians are asked to notify the school in the morning if their student will be absent. If not notified, the school will contact parents/guardians regarding their student’s absence.
Minn. Stat. 260A.02: Continuing truant. “Continuing truant” means a child who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of section 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in a school, as defined in section 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for three or more class periods on three days, if the child is in middle school, junior high school, or high school. At this time parents-guardians will be notified by certified letter. They will have time to notify the school if there should be a valid excuse for the child’s absence. If there is not a valid excuse, parents-guardians will be notified that they are obligated to compel the attendance of the child pursuant to Minn. Statute 120.101 and parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be subject to prosecution under Minn. Statute 127.20. The parent has the right to meet with staff to discuss solutions to the child’s truancy. If the child should continue to be truant, the parent and child may be subject to Juvenile Court proceedings under Minn. Statute Ch. 260 and the child may be subject to suspension, restriction or delay of the student’s driving privilege pursuant to Minn. Statute 260.191
Minn. Stat. 260A.03: NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN WHEN CHILD IS A CONTINUING TRUANT.
Upon a child’s initial classification as a continuing truant, a designated school official shall notify the child’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 child at school pursuant to section 120A.22 and parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be subject to prosecution under section 120A.34
- that this notification serves as the notification required by section 120A.34
- that alternative educational programs and services may be available in the child’s enrolling or resident 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 chapter 260C
- that if the child is subject to juvenile court proceedings, the child may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the child’s driving privilege pursuant to section 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.
A student under the age of 17 years who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for any part of seven school days, shall be considered a habitual truant and will be subject to referral to appropriate services and procedures under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260C.
Absences will be excused for the following reasons:
- student illness (more than 3 consecutive days requires a doctor’s note),
- serious illness or death in immediate family, medical or dental appointments,
- counseling appointments,
- court appearances,
- family vacations,
- personal emergencies or
Director’s discretion may be used as needed. Families are asked to notify the office prior to any planned absences. Once a student reaches 17 absences, medical documentation is required for additional absences to be excused. Absences will be considered unexcused for the following reasons: no call/no show, skipping, arriving late/leaving early without a valid reason, or any other absence deemed unexcused by the director.
Students with excessive absences may be required to have an attendance contract and meeting with administration. Attendance contracts could include loss of credit and/or adjusted grading. Students could be removed from active enrollment if the contract terms are not met. If students are dropped from enrollment, a full admissions packet must be completed to apply for re-enrollment. Re-enrollment will depend on space available.
Students are considered tardy if they arrive late up to 10:15 AM (end of period 2). After 10:15 AM, students will be given a half day unexcused absence. Three unexcused tardies will equal one unexcused absence. Families will be notified by letter when a student reaches 3 and 5 unexcused absences. Truancy will be filed when a student reaches 7 unexcused absences. Staff will work with families/students to help overcome attendance issues.