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5200 Policy Attendance

State law requires the School Board to enforce the regular attendance of students. Further, the Board recognizes that 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 well-planned instructional activity under the direction of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.


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 under State law, this policy, or administrative procedure issued under this policy.



Absence Reporting


The Superintendent shall require, from the parent or guardian of each student or from an adult

student, who has been absent for any reason notification of the reason for the absence and the time

period covered by the absence. The Board reserves the right to verify such statements and to

investigate the cause of each:


  1. Single absence; or

  2. Repeated unexplained absence and tardiness.



School Attendance Officer


The Superintendent shall designate an administrator at each school to be the School Attendance

Officer. The School Attendance Officer shall perform any duties and responsibilities s/he is required to perform by State law, this policy, and any administrative procedures issued by the school. The duties of the School Attendance Officer shall include, but not be limited to, the following.


  1. Determining daily from attendance reports submitted by teachers which students enrolled in the school are absent from school and whether the absence is excused.

  2. Providing student attendance information to individuals and agencies for purposes authorized by State law and the Board's Policy 8330 - Student Records.


Excused Absences


As required under State law, a student shall be excused from school for the following reasons:


  1. Physical or Mental Condition

    The student is temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend a school
    program.

  2. Obtaining Religious Instruction

    To enable the student to obtain religious instruction outside the school during the required school period (see Policy 5223 - Absences for Religious Instruction).

  3. 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 per school year 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 of 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

  1. Religious Holiday

    For observance of a religious holiday consistent with the student's creed or belief.

  2. Suspension or Expulsion

    The student has been suspended or expelled.

  3. Program or Curriculum Modification

    The District has excused the student from regular school attendance to participate in a program or curriculum modification leading to high school graduation or a high school equivalency diploma as provided by State law.

  4. High School Equivalency - Secured Facilities

    The District has excused a student from regular school attendance to participate in a program leading to a high school equivalency diploma in a secured correctional facility, a secured child caring institution, a secure detention facility, or a juvenile portion of a county jail, and the student and his/her parent or guardian agree that the student will continue to participate in such a program.

  5. Child at Risk

    The student is a "child at risk" as defined under State law and is participating in a program at a technical college on either a part-time or full-time basis leading to high school graduation, as provided under State law.


A student may be excused from school, as determined by the School Attendance Officer, or his/her designee, for the following reasons:


  1. Quarantine

    Quarantine of the student's home by a public health officer.

  2. Illness of an Immediate Family Member.

    The illness of an immediate family member.

  3. Emergency

    An emergency that requires the student to be absent because of familial responsibilities or other appropriate reasons.

  4. Under extraordinary circumstances, other absences may be allowed per parent request and with the prior approval of the building principal.


Unexcused Absences


Unexcused absences demonstrate a deliberate disregard for the educational program and are considered a serious matter. The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures to address

unexcused absences.



Truancy Plan


The Board will issue a Truancy Plan based upon the recommendations of the County Truancy
Committee convened under State law, the Board's policies and procedures, and applicable provisions of State law. The Board will review and, if appropriate, revise the Truancy Plan at least once every two (2) years.


The Truancy Plan will include, at a minimum, the following:


  1. Procedures to be followed for notifying the parents or guardians of the unexcused absences of a student who is truant or a habitual truant and for meeting and conferring with such parents or guardians.

  2. Plans and procedures for identifying truant children of all ages and returning them to school, including the identity of school personnel to whom a truant child shall be returned.

  3. Methods to increase and maintain public awareness of and involvement in responding to truancy within the school district.

  4. Provision addressing the immediate response to be made by school personnel when a truant child is returned to school.

  5. The types of truancy cases to be referred to the District Attorney and the time periods within which the District Attorney will respond to and take action on the referrals.

  6. Plans and procedures to coordinate the responses to the problems of habitual truants, as
    defined under Sec. 118.16(1)(a), Wis. Stats., with public and private social services agencies.

  7. Methods to involve the truant child's parent or guardian in dealing with and solving the child's truancy problem.


A student is considered a habitual truant when they are absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part or all of five (5) or more days during any semester.  Students missing part of a school day due to tardiness can be considered a habitual truant.  Tardy is defined as arriving to school more than five (5) minutes after the start of a school day or arriving to a specific class after the bell rings to alert the start of a class without an acceptable excuse.  .



Notice of Truancy


The School Attendance Officer shall notify a truant student's parent or guardian of the student's

truancy and direct the parent or guardian to return the student to school no later than the next day on which school is in session or to provide an excuse for the absence. The notice under this paragraph shall be given before the end of the second school day after receiving a report of an unexcused absence. Notice shall be made by personal contact or telephone call, if possible, and a written record of this notice shall be kept. If such notice is not effective, notice shall be made by mail. This notice must be given every time a student is truant until the student becomes a habitual truant.




Notice of Habitual Truancy


When a student initially becomes a habitual truant, the School Attendance Officer shall provide a
notice to the student's parent or guardian, by registered or certified mail, which contains the following:


When a student initially becomes a habitual truant, the School Attendance Officer shall provide a notice to the student's parent or guardian, by registered mail, certified mail, or by 1st class mail.  The school attendance officer may simultaneously notify the parent or guardian of the habitually truant child by an electronic communication. The notice shall contain the following:



  1. A statement of the parent's or guardian's responsibility under State law to cause the student to attend school regularly.

  2. Statement that the parent, guardian, or student may request program or curriculum modifications for the student under State law and that the student may be eligible for enrollment in a program for children at risk.

  3. Request that the parent or guardian meet with the appropriate school personnel to discuss the student's truancy

    The notice shall include the name of the school personnel with whom the parent or guardian should meet, a date, time, and place for the meeting and the name, address, and telephone number of a person to contact to arrange a different date, time, or place. The date for the meeting shall be within five (5) school days after the date that the notice is sent, except that with the consent of the student's parent or guardian the date for the meeting may be extended for an additional five (5) school days.

  4. Statement of the penalties, under State law or local ordinances that may be imposed on the parent or guardian if s/he fails to cause the child to attend school regularly as required by State law.


The School Attendance Officer will also continue to notify the parent or guardian of a habitual truant's

subsequent unexcused absences.



Referral to the District Attorney


Truancy cases will be referred to the District Attorney as provided in the County Truancy Committee Plan. The School Attendance Officer will ensure that appropriate school personnel have done the
following before any case is referred to the District Attorney:


  1. Met with the student's parent or guardian to discuss the student's truancy or attempted to meet with the student's parent or guardian and received no response or were refused.

  2. Provided an opportunity for educational counseling to the student to determine whether a change in the student's curriculum would resolve the student's truancy and have curriculum modifications under State law.

  3. Evaluated the student to determine whether learning problems may be a cause of the student's truancy and, if so, have taken steps to overcome the learning problems, except that the student need not be evaluated if tests administered to the student within the previous year indicate that the student is performing at his/her grade level.

  4. Conducted an evaluation to determine whether social problems may be a cause of the student's truancy and, if so, have taken appropriate action or made appropriate referrals.

Note that paragraph A. is not required if the meeting between school personnel, the student, and the student's parent or guardian, which was requested in the Notice of Habitual Truancy to the parent or guardian, did not occur within ten (10) school days after the Notice was sent. Paragraphs B., C., and D. are not required if appropriate school personnel were unable to carry out the activity due to the student's absences from school.


Make-up Coursework and Examinations


Students who are absent from school, whether the absence was excused or unexcused, shall be permitted to make-up coursework and examinations missed during the absence when they return to school. At the secondary level, it is the student's responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what coursework and examinations must be made-up. Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute coursework and examinations. Teachers shall also have the discretion to specify where and when examinations and coursework 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.



Superintendent Procedures


The Superintendent shall develop administrative procedures concerning the attendance of students which:


  1. Ensure a school session which is in conformity with the requirement of the law;

  2. Ensure that students absent have an opportunity to make-up work they missed;

  3. Govern the keeping of attendance records in accordance with State law;

  4. Facilitate implementation of the Truancy Plan;

  5. Identify the habitual truant, investigate the cause(s) of his/her behavior, and consider modification of his/her educational program to meet particular needs and interests;

  6. 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 for evaluation for eligibility either under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Chapter 115, Wis. Stats.;

  7. Provide that a student's grade in any course is 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;

  8. Ensure that all parents and students are informed of the District's Attendance Policy and
    related procedures;

  9. Enable the School Attendance Officer to perform his/her duties under State law and this policy; and

  10. Address unexcused absences.


115, 118.15, 118.125(2), 118.153, 118.16, 118.162, Wis. Stats.


 

Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009

Revised:  August 25, 2014

Revised: February 22, 2016
Ċ
Nathan Marinan,
Feb 23, 2016, 6:36 AM