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5200 AdmGuide_Attendance

The Board of Education requires all students enrolled in the schools of this District to attend school regularly in
accordance with the laws of the State. The District's educational program is predicated upon the presence of the
student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular contact of students with one
another in the classroom and their participation in a wellplanned instructional activity under the direction of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.  A summary of this Administrative Guideline will be provided to each
student and copies will also be provided to individuals upon request.
Compulsory Student Attendance
All children between six (6) and eighteen (18) years of age shall attend school regularly during the full period and
hours, religious holidays excepted, that the school in which the child is enrolled is in session until the end of the
term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age, unless they
fall under an exception outlined in this Administrative Guideline.
Students enrolled in Wauwatosa School District who are of compulsory attendance age are required to attend
school daily on all scheduled days. Decisions to adjust a student's daily schedule to shorten a school day can be
made by IEP teams. These IEPs must be reviewed at least quarterly to determine the appropriateness of the
modified schedule. Any other adjustments to a student's schedule must include the authorization of the building
Students who enroll in JK and SK who are not of compulsory attendance age are expected to follow the school
schedule/calendar. Families are not allowed to adjust or partially enroll students in school other than what is
offered by the District. Attendance of all children will be monitored.
Written Excuse for Absence
A student who is absent shall submit a written, dated, signed statement from his/her parent or guardian stating the
reason for the absence and the time period of the absence. This written statement must be submitted prior to the
absence if the absence is foreseeable. If the absence is not foresee-able, the statement must be submitted prior to
the student's readmission to school. The statement shall be submitted to the School Attendance Officer, or his/her
designee, and filed in the student's school record. The District reserves the right to verify statements and
investigate absences from school.
Excused Absences
A student shall be excused from school for the following reasons:
    A. Physical or Mental Condition
        The student is temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend a school program. If the
        absence exceeds ten (10) days, the inability of the student to attend school due to a physical or mental
        condition must be certified in writing by a licensed physician, dentist, chiropractor, optometrist or
        psychologist or religious practitioner living and residing in Wisconsin, who by belief is exempt. The time
        period for which the certification is valid may not exceed thirty (30) days.
    B. Obtaining Religious Instruction
        The student wishes to obtain religious instruction outside the school during the required school period. The
        time period or periods of absence shall be determined by the principal. Such absences must be at least sixty
        (60) minutes but not more than 180 minutes per week. Requests for absence under this paragraph shall be
        denied if the student fails to attend religious instruction after requesting to be absent from his/her regular
        school. The supervisor of such religious instruction shall report monthly, to the principal of the school
        regularly attended, the names of the students who attended such weekly religious instruction. See Policy 
        5223 - Absences for Religious Instruction for further details.
    C. Permission of Parent or Guardian
        The student has been excused by his/her parent or guardian before the absence for any or no reason. A
        student may not be excused for more than ten (10) days under this paragraph and must complete any course
        work missed during the absence. Examples of reasons for being absent that should be counted under this
        paragraph include, but are not limited to, the following:
            1. Professional and other necessary appointments (e.g., medical, dental, and legal) that cannot be
                scheduled outside the school day
            2. To attend the funeral of a relative or friend
            3. Legal proceedings that require the student's presence
            4. College visits
            5. Job fairs
            6. Vacations
    D. Religious Holiday
        The student wishes to observe a religious holiday consistent with the student's creed or belief.
    E. Suspension or Expulsion
        The student has been suspended or expelled.
A student may be excused from school, as determined by the School Attendance Officer, or his/her designee, for
the following reasons:
    A. Quarantine
        Quarantine of the student's home by a public health officer.
    B. Illness of an Immediate Family Member
        The illness of an immediate family member.
    C. Emergency
        An emergency that requires the student to be absent because of familial responsibilities or other appropriate
    D. Work at Home Due to Absence of Parents
        To work at home due to the absence of the student's parents.
School Attendance Officer
The principal shall be the School Attendance Officer. The School Attendance Officer shall be responsible for
dealing with matters relating to school attendance and truancy. The duties of the School Attendance Officer shall
include, but not be limited to the following:
    A. Determining daily from attendance reports submitted by teachers which students enrolled in the school are
        absent from school and whether the absence is excused.
    B. Providing student attendance information to individuals and agencies for purposes authorized by State law
        and the Board's Student Records Policy (see Board Policy 8330).
    C. Performing the duties and responsibilities assigned to him/her under this Administrative Guideline.
A student will be considered truant if s/he is absent part or all of one or more days from school during which the
School Attendance Officer, has not been notified of the acceptable reason under these guidelines of such absence by the parent or guardian of the absent student. A student will also be considered truant if s/he has been absent
intermittently for the purpose of defeating the intent of the Wisconsin Compulsory Attendance statute (Sec.
118.15, Wis. Stats.).
When a student is truant, the School Attendance Officer shall ensure that all applicable provisions of the District's
Truancy Plan are carried out.
Unexcused Absences
Unexcused absences demonstrate a deliberate disregard for the educational program and are considered a serious
matter. The principal will determine on a case-by-case basis the appropriate methods to deal with unexcused
absences. The following methods may be considered:
    A. Counseling the student
    B. Requiring the student to make-up lost time
    C. Requiring the student to make-up course work and/or examinations, as permitted under this guideline
    D. Conferring with the student's parents
    E. Assigning in-school consequences
    F. Referring the student to an appropriate agency for assistance
Administrative action to address unexcused absences shall be in accord with due process, as defined in Policy
5611, the Student Code of Conduct, and other applicable Board policies.
Habitual Truancy
A student is considered a habitual truant if s/he is absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part or all
of five (5) or more days on which school is held during a school semester.
When a student initially becomes a habitual truant, the School Attendance Officer shall ensure that all applicable
provisions of the District's Truancy Plan are carried out.
Students with Special Needs
School administrators and teachers shall ensure that any student who, due to a specifically identifiable physical or
mental impairment, exceeds or may exceed the District's limit on excused absence is referred to the Building
Student Assistance Team.
Encouraging Attendance
Promoting and fostering desired student attendance habits requires a commitment from the administration, faculty,
and parents. No single individual or group can - in and of itself - successfully accomplish this task.
Professional Staff Member
A professional staff member's responsibility must include, but not be limited to:
    A. Speaking frequently of the importance of students being in class, on time, ready to participate;
    B. Keeping accurate attendance records (excused vs. unexcused) as directed by the School Attendance
        Officer, or his/her designee;
    C. Incorporating defined, participation as part of the teaching/learning process.
Parent/Guardian Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the student's parent or guardian to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Parents are expected to provide an excuse for all absences as required under this Guideline.
Student Responsibilities
Students are required to attend all classes and other school activities on their daily schedule, unless they have
been excused from school as set forth in this Guideline.
Students Leaving School During School Day
A. As a general rule, no staff member shall permit or cause any student to leave the school prior to the regular
    hour of dismissal except with the knowledge and approval of the principal and with the knowledge and approval
    of the student's parents.
B. No student will be released to any government agency without proper warrant or written parental permission
    except in the event of an emergency as determined by the principal.
Make-Up Course Work and Examinations
Students who are absent from school, whether the absence was excused or unexcused shall be permitted to
make-up course work and examinations missed during the absence when they return to school. It is the student's
responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what course work and examinations must be made-up.
Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute course work and examination. Teachers shall also have the
discretion to specify where and when examinations and course work shall be completed, including outside regular
school hours. The time for completing the work shall be commensurate with the length of the absence, unless
extended by the principal based upon extenuating circumstances.
A student's grade in any course shall be based on his/her performance in the instructional setting and is not
reduced for reasons of conduct. If a student violates the attendance or other rules of the school, s/he should be
disciplined appropriately for the misconduct, but his/her grades should be based upon what the student can
demonstrate s/he has learned.
A. Students not in their homeroom or in class when the late bell rings are considered tardy.
B. All students in high school/middle school who are tardy to school must report to the office to sign in.
C. When a teacher detains a student after class, s/he shall issue a late pass for the student's next class.
D. Teachers are requested to refer cases of chronic tardiness to the principal.
E. Parents and students shall be informed of the provisions of Policy 5200 and AG 5200.
118.15, 118.153, 118.16, 118.162, Wis. Stats.
Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009
Sharon Weinstock,
Jul 29, 2011, 6:01 AM