Attendance is a critical factor in school success for students. Studies have shown that consistent school attendance, academic success, and school completion have a positive correlation. The educational process requires continuity of instruction and students need to experience classroom discussions, debate, and independent study in order to increase achievement. Regular participation in classroom activities fosters critical thinking, communication skills, and responsibility, all of which are essential skills for future employment. Good attendance in school is also part of the self-discipline that we try to instill in our students to enable them to act as responsible members of the community.
The purpose of the District’s Attendance policy is to ensure the maintenance of an adequate record of verifying the attendance of all students during days of instruction and to establish a mechanism by which the patterns of student absence can be examined to develop effective intervention strategies. The goal of this procedure is for each school to know the whereabouts of every student for safety and school management reasons and to help students succeed at meeting the Iowa State learning standards.
Parents are expected to make sure that their children attend school on a regular basis. Attendance for continuous remote learning is required as included in the District's Return to Learn Plan, in consideration of age and content area, understanding that some work is done without synchronous computer connection. To implement a successful attendance policy, we need the cooperation of all members of the educational community, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff. Through the implementation of this policy the District expects to reduce the level of unexcused absences, tardiness, and unexcused early dismissals.
2. General Procedures
Each absence, instance of tardiness, and early dismissal will be recorded as excused or unexcused along with a code noting specific reason therefor. Excused absences are defined as: an absence due to personal illness, medical appointments that cannot be scheduled at another time, illness or death in the family, religious observance, quarantine (however, if participation in continous remote learning is appropriate during the quarantine, attendance will be in compliance with the District's Return to Learn Plan and will not be counted as an absence), required court appearances, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, or military obligations, or pre- approved family vacations. All other absences, tardiness, or early dismissals will be considered unexcused.
Any absence, tardiness, or early dismissal must be accounted for. It is the parent’s responsibility to call or email the school. A written note may be required by the building Principal. Each day a student is absent, a phone call from the parent is requested; however, all absences will be recorded as unexcused until a parent contact is made to the building office. At the secondary level it is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation for all in-school appointments that will prevent a student from attending class prior to dismissal from class.
When a student is out of school for 10 or more consecutive days or is hospitalized for any period of time, the parent or guardian must contact the health office prior to the student returning to school to set up a re-entry interview.
Parents will be notified by phone if their child is absent, late, or departs early from school. Any absence which occurs without parental knowledge will be classified as unexcused.
Approved: Reviewed: 7/11/16 Reviewed: Revised: 5/13/13; 7/11/16; 6/10/19; 8/10/20