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501.02AP Attendance Policies – Administrative Procedures

Policy 501.02 – Administrative Regulations

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Attendance Notification

  1. Whenever a student is absent from school for any reason, a parent or guardian should notify the school.  (If the school isn’t notified, the office will attempt to contact parents to verify the student’s absence.)
  2. Whenever a student is absent from school on more than 5 occasions in one semester, the principal may convene a meeting of an attendance review committee consisting of the principal or the principal’s designee, a counselor, and the student’s teacher. This committee shall meet to review the student’s attendance and make recommendations toward its improvement. An attempt will be made to contact the parent prior to any action or recommendations by the committee.  This team approach should generate some possible solutions to the child’s attendance problem. These recommendations may include such things as further counseling, probationary status, individualized attendance rules, or disciplinary action, etc.­ This committee will notify the parents or head of the household of its action and invite them to school to discuss the attendance of the child.
  3. If the parents or guardians are reluctant to visit the school, or if they make no contact, a school employee designated by the principal shall attempt to make a home visit in order to impress upon the family the importance of regular school attendance.

Tardiness

  1. Students who are not in their homeroom when the bell rings will be tardy.
  2. Excessive tardiness of more than 5 days in one semester would also warrant a conference with parents or guardian.
  3. Elementary students who arrive after, or leave before, 8:30a.m. will be counted tardy.  The only exceptions are students who have dental or medical appointments and arrive before 10:00 a.m.
  4. Elementary students who leave after 2:00 p.m. will be noted as leaving early. The only exceptions are students who have dental or medical appointments and leave after 2:00 p.m.
  5. Students tardy to school will not be admitted to class without checking in with the school secretary.

Absences

  1. Students who arrive after one-half of the school day is completed will be counted one-half day absent.
  2. Absences will be considered valid for the following reasons:
    1. Personal illness
    2. Death or serious illness in the immediate family or household, and emergency work at home when vital to the family welfare.
    3. The funeral of a relative or close friend.
    4. Medical or dental appointments which cannot be made other than during school time, and for which verification of the appointment is presented before the absence.
    5. Short term suspension from school.
    6. Court appearances.
  3. We do not recommend students be absent for the following:
    1. Shopping trips
    2. Vacations (see D below)
    3. Appointments that could be arranged at other than school time, or which are not essential to the student’s welfare.
  4. The school does not support, nor generally approve of students being absent from school for vacation, and encourages parents to arrange vacations to coincide with school vacation time.  Those family vacations which cannot be taken at such time, and during which the student would be without suitable adult supervision were he or she to remain in school, may be excused under the following provisions:
    1. Advance notice must be given to the school by direct communication from the parents or head of household at least five (5) school days before the absence.
    2. All school work must be made up in advance, or arrangements made to make up the work, to the satisfaction of the teachers involved.
  5. Other absences from school that can be justified from an educational standpoint may be approved. Students who anticipate such an absence must give five (5) days notice in advance of the anticipated absence. Such notification shall be in writing and must include reasons why the absence can be justified as educational. ­ The student may be asked to submit a written report highlighting the educational significance of the absence.
  6. School work missed (or its equivalent) due to any absence must be completed to the satisfaction of each teacher whose class or classes were missed.­ It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this make-up work, and these arrangements must be made in a way that does not interfere with normal classroom activities.
    1. When students can anticipate absences, every effort must be made to see that school work is made up in advance of the absence, or arrangements made to the satisfaction of the teacher(s) involved.­ The principal may determine that the completion of school work in advance be a prerequisite to allowing the absence to be excused.
    2. When an absence was not anticipated, all school work must be made up within the number of school days missed plus one.­ Absences of more than five (5) days must be made up as arranged with the teachers involved.
    3. Reduction of grades shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against a student because of absence from school, although failure to complete equivalent make up work may result in lowering of the grade.
    4. Students shall receive full credit for school work made up due to absence.
  7. Parents of students who were absent from school for any reason shall provide a note stating the specific reasons for the absence, the specific days or times absent, verification by doctor or dentist, if appropriate, and the signature of a parent or head of household.­ Parents and guardians are encouraged to phone the school prior to 8:30 a.m. regarding a student’s absence on the day of the absence.
  8. In the event that the principal determines that it is advisable to verify an excuse given for an absence, the principal may take appropriate steps to do so.
  9. No later than four weeks following the close of each school quarter, the principal in charge of each attendance center will report to the superintendent regarding any attendance problems that were not resolved for the previous quarter.
  10. Students with excessive truancies will be reported to the county attorney.  Truancies are absences “without a reasonable excuse.”  Students who have been truant for more than eighteen days or who are projected to miss eighteen or more days in a school year will be reported to the county attorney.  Chronic absences may also be reported.  Chronically absent students are those who may have some kind of note from parents, but whose pattern of absences seems to continue no matter what interventions are tried.  The building principals will collect truancy information and send it to the superintendent who will then make the appropriate referrals to the county attorney.  The principal of the building that the child attends will participate in any mediation process that may be arranged by the county attorney.

Disciplinary Action

  1. Students who are found to be absent without reasonable excuse may be subjected to one or more of the following disciplinary actions:
    1. After-school detention
    2. In-school suspension
    3. Removal of school privileges
  2. The parents or head of household of any student with an unreasonable absence will be notified of the absence and of disciplinary actions taken.­ In addition to making up all work missed to the satisfaction of the teachers involved, the review committee may decide on further disciplinary actions.

Reduction of Grades

Reduction of grades shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against a student because of absence from school, although failure to complete equivalent make-up work may result in lowering of the grade.

Review

  1. Students and parents wishing to have a review of a decision regarding tardiness and make-up work rendered under this absence rule may do so by filing a written request for review with the principal within five school days after the decision was rendered.­ The principal will determine a mutually agreeable time, place, and date for the review and notify the student, parents, and committee accordingly.­ At the appointed time, the parties attending the review will meet to discuss the matter informally.­ Following the review, the principal shall affirm, reverse, or modify the decision.
  2. Students, parents and teachers may obtain a review of the principal’s decision under this absence rule by filing a written request for review within five school days with the superintendent.­ The superintendent or designee will determine a mutually agreeable time, place and date for the review and notify the interested persons.­ At the conclusion of the review, the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee shall affirm, reverse or modify the principal’s decision.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to contact the school as soon as possible when a student is absent.  A note from the parent/guardian is acceptable if they have not or cannot contact the school by phone.

In the event that the principal or designee determines that it is advisable to verify an excuse given for an absence, the principal or designee may take appropriate steps to do so.­ When it is determined that an excuse is forged or misrepresents the facts, the principal or designee may take disciplinary action.

Whenever a student is absent on more than six (6) occasions from school or from a class in one semester, the principal or designee shall begin proceedings to convene an attendance review core team consisting of the principal or the principal’s designee, a counselor, and a teacher or team of teachers of the student, as well as any other personnel deemed pertinent to the situation.­ This committee shall meet to review the student’s attendance and make recommendations toward its improvement.­ These recommendations may include such things as parent conference, further counseling, probationary status, individualized attendance contract, or disciplinary action.­ The following factors must be considered by counselor(s) and the principal in deciding what types of action to take:

What stage of the year is it?  While it may be serious to miss 6 days in the first six week period, it may not be serious to reach that point in the last month of school.

Reasons for the absences.

Unexcused vs. excused absences.

Grades and achievement.

Effort and ability to make-up work.

Teacher concerns.

Guidelines for Action

After six (6) absences, the parent/guardian will be notified of the school’s concern.

After twelve (12) absences, a letter will be sent home to arrange a conference with the parent/guardian, the child, and his or her counselor.

After eighteen (18) absences, the parent will be notified that the superintendent and county attorney will be notified.

Iowa law mandates school attendance.  If a student does not attend school on a regular basis, the parent/guardian is in violation of Iowa law and may be prosecuted.  Where a student demonstrates chronic attendance problems, the county attorney and/or outside agencies may be notified.

The school does not support, nor generally approve, students being absent from school for a vacation and encourages parents to arrange vacations to coincide with school vacation time.  When it is necessary for a student to miss school because of a family vacation, the parent/guardian must notify school at least five days before the absence.  Arrangements should be made for the completion of make-up work to the satisfaction of the teachers involved.

When an absence is not anticipated, all schoolwork must be made up within twice the number of school days missed or within a longer period of time to the satisfaction of the individual teacher(s) involved.   Students shall receive credit, with no late penalty, for schoolwork made up due to absences.

If a student will be absent for an extended period of time, the parent/guardian should contact the school counselor.

Tardies

Students who are not within their assigned instructional areas when the bell rings will be tardy unless properly excused.

Tardies to school may be excused upon the same reasonable grounds as those allowed for absences.  Two (2) tardies to school in one semester shall be excused.  Excessive tardies will be handled through disciplinary action and parent involvement.

Students who are tardy to school will not be admitted to class without the written permission of the principal or designee.

Students who are tardy to class must have a written pass from the school employee responsible or the tardy will be recorded.  Individual teachers are responsible for the disciplinary action regarding between class tardies.  Consistent tardiness may result in office discipline.

Review

Students and parents/guardians wishing to appeal a decision regarding the attendance policy may do so by filing a written request to the principal within five school days after the decision has been rendered.  The principal will render a decision in writing to the parent or guardian and/or student.

Students and parents/guardians may obtain an appeal of the principal’s decision under this absence rule by filing a written request for review within five school days with the superintendent.

 

MUSCATINE HIGH SCHOOL

Attendance at school on a regular basis is an extremely important ingredient for student success.  Students perform better in school when they are in attendance regularly.  Regular attendance and a sense of responsibilities are important to every job.

It is the position at MHS that students should be in attendance at school every day that school is in session and should attend and participate in all scheduled classes.  Every effort should be exercised on the part of the students and parents to assure regular attendance.

The emphasis of the attendance program at MHS is to place accountability or ownership on the individual student.

These guidelines will be followed:

  1. School Attendance – Students and parents are accountable for all absences from class and notification must be received by the attendance office within 48 hours of the absence.  Parents may account for the absence of their child by:
    1. A telephone call to the school explaining the absence of the child (563-263-6141, extension 1133, 24 hours a day, seven days a week).  You may also email our attendance office at attendancemhs@muscatine.k12.ia.us
    2. Written notification presented to the attendance office
  2. School Activities – Students missing class because of participation in a school activity should make arrangements for make-up with each instructor prior to the date of absence.  Reduction of grades shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against a student because of absence from school, although failure to complete equivalent make-up work may result in lowering of the grade.
  3. School/Personal Business – Students are not to use class time to take care of school business affairs or personal business.  School offices are open for business before school and throughout the day.  Students should take care of business before school, during lunch, or after school.  Use of class time will be considered as a period missed.
  4. Suspension/Exclusion Caused by Students’ Inappropriate Behavior – When a student makes a decision to act inappropriately and the behavior results in an out of school suspension, the days out of school will not count as days of non-attendance.  However, the student must make up all work missed during the suspension within the time frame outlined in the Board policy and student agenda in order to receive credit for the time out of class.
  5. Administrative Office/School Clearance – When a student is called to the Attendance Office or one of the administrative offices at the request of an administrator or counselor, the student will be excused from class.  The student may return to class with an admit from the office.
  6. Administrative/Nurse/Counselor/School Emergencies – Students having personal or medical problems at school should first report to the assigned class instructor and then to the school nurse, administration, or guidance office.  Leaving the building or being out of class without authorization will be recorded as an unexcused absence.
  7. Attendance Notification – Students are considered unexcused if they are not present in class and prior notification has not been given by a parent to the Attendance Office.
    1. Whenever a student is absent unexcused for at least one period, the school will attempt to contact the parents through the school’s automated calling system if the parents have not contacted the school.­   Notes are acceptable to account for an absence if parents cannot make contact by telephone.
      1. A phone call will be generated each day a class period is unexcused, or that the student is more than 5 minutes late.    A log will be maintained to verify attempts and possible results.
      2. At two unexcused absences, verbal and written notification to students will be given by the classroom teacher.  The student will be required to bring the notification back to the teacher with student and parent/guardian signature confirming notification of the absences.
      3. Only when a student of majority age (18 years or older, married, or with approval of self-guardianship papers) is not residing with the student’s parents or guardian and not under parental insurance or tax credits, may the student present his or her own reason for absence without parental verification.  The principal or designee should be notified in advance of any such circumstances.
      4. In the event that the principal or designee determines that it is advisable to verify a reason given for an absence, the principal or designee may take appropriate steps to do so. When it is determined that an excuse is forged or misrepresents the facts, the principal or designee may take disciplinary action. All absences will be recorded as a cut.

Unexcused Tardiness

  1. Students are unexcused tardy when he/she is not in their assigned  location, per teacher syllabus, when the bell rings.
  2. For every unexcused tardy, there will be an assigned 20 minutes detention.
  3. Students reporting late to a class, attempting to avoid an unexcused tardy, must have a written pass from the school employee responsible
  4. Students returning from a medical, legal, bereavement leave, school activity or family emergency will be immediately returned to class.

Absences

  1. The following absences will be considered approved. Approved absences do not count toward violation of attendance policy.
    1. Death or serious illness in the immediate family or household, and emergency work at home when vital to the family welfare  (up to 5 days) as listed in the MCSD master contract
    2. The funeral of a relative or close friend (1 day)
    3. Medical or dental appointments which cannot be made other than during school time, and for which written verification of the appointment is presented.
    4. Student illness must be excused by a medical doctor or parent or guardian
    5. Court appearances (when subpoenaed)
    6. Post secondary visits to investigate enrollment will be approved.  Up to 3 days per year may be granted by an administrator.
    7. Approved school activity
  2. School work missed due to any absence must be completed to the satisfaction of each teacher whose class or classes were missed. ­  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this make-up work, and these arrangements must be made in a way that does not interfere with normal classroom activities.
    1. When students can anticipate absences, every effort must be made to see that school work is made up in advance of the absence, or arrangements made to the satisfaction of the teacher(s) involved.
    2. Students will not lose credit for homework, tests or quizzes assigned/due during unexcused absences provided the work is completed per the timeline established in Board Policy.
    3. All schoolwork or its equivalent missed due to excused absences must be made up within not fewer than two times  the number of school days missed provided it satisfies the requirements of the task.
    4. Students shall receive full credit for schoolwork made up if it satisfies the requirements of the task.
    5. All make-up work will have to be completed within two weeks following the end of any given grading period (second semester excluded).­ In the interim an “I,” signifying incompletion of the course, will be used to designate a student’s status. At the end of the two week period, if all make-up work has not been completed, the “I” (Incomplete) mark will revert to the cumulative grade earned. ­ Under special circumstances, including but not limited to component recovery, individual classroom methodology, online learning, significant health condition, late-term enrollment, the principal or designee may lengthen this time period.
    6. Students who are absent for physical disabilities, illness or emotional disability problems may request credit to be granted through a tutorial program that uses certified personnel.­ Persons who are projected to be out of school because of illness for more than ten consecutive school days should contact their school counselor about the possibility of tutorial services.
  3. No later than four weeks following the close of each school  semester, the principal will report to the superintendent regarding the average daily attendance for the previous semester.
  4. Students who are found to have an excessive number of unexcused absences may be subjected to one or more of the following disciplinary actions:
    1. Detentions
    2. In-school suspension
    3. Out of school suspension
    4. Removal from school activities
    5. Suspension from school determined by district policy
    6. Alternative education setting
    7. Recommendation may be made by administration to the Board of Education that the student be expelled

Absence/Attendance Policy

The absence policy is based on the fact that something important happens in class every day and that the activity or interaction with the teacher and students can never be exactly duplicated.

In order for the staff to do the best possible job of educating the students entrusted to them, the student must be in regular attendance.  Thus attendance will be recorded for each class on a daily basis.  A successful educational program requires the cooperation of the parent, the student, and the school staff at all points in the process.  One of the most vital points is that of student attendance.  We cannot teach a student who is not present.

  1. Daily Absence
    1. Students are responsible for all work missed due to school absences and will contact instructors, or fellow students, and make arrangements for make-up upon return to school.  Homework requests for students missing more than three consecutive days may be made through the guidance office.  Reduction of grades shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against a student because of absence from school, although failure to complete equivalent make-up work may result in lowering of the grade. The attendance center will call each day that at least a period/class is missed, including tardies registered as cuts.  There will be a record of such calls made available if so requested.
    2. At two absences, the individual classroom teacher will make contact with every student who reaches this absentee level.
  2. Unexcused Absences
    1. At two unexcused absences, verbal and written notification to students will be given by the classroom teacher and/or designated high school staff. The student will be required to bring the notification back to the teacher with student and parent/guardian signature confirming notification of the absences.
    2. Written and telephone contact will be made to a parent or guardian on 4 unexcused absences in class.
    3. An attendance drop notification will take place upon a student’s 6th day of unexcused absence in a class and will result in the student being dropped from the class with “no credit.”
    4. A home contact must be made before a student is dropped from a class.
  3. Student Appeal (Due Process) for Credit Procedure:
    1. The administration will send a formal written notice informing the parent/guardian of the drop status.
    2. Administration will have copies of the appeal form available for students.
    3. Students have 5 school days from the time they receive the verbal notice of exceeding the policy to submit a written request for appeal to the building administration.
    4. Students will have the opportunity to explain and validate their attendance record on the remainder of the form, which then must be signed by the student and a parent/guardian.
    5. The student will return the form to the high school principal’s office prior to, or on the due date for principal’s consideration.
    6. When the appeal form has been appropriately completed, the high school principal will review it, make a decision, and will notify the student within a reasonable time frame.
    7. The principal or designee will review all student appeal decisions.
    8. If the appeal is accepted the student will be reinstated to the class.
  4. Extended Absences Due to Medical Problems or Hospitalization
    1. Students who are absent for physical disabilities, illness, or emotional disability problems may request credit to be granted through a tutorial program that uses certified personnel.  Students who are projected to be out of school for more than ten (10) consecutive school days, and upon physician’s request, should contact the school counselor about the possibility of tutorial services
  5. Additional Guidelines:
    1. An absence count will start only upon a student’s first registered day in a class.
Approved:       2/12/90          Reviewed:            4/22/13           Revised:       4/22/13_____

 

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