3122P - Excused and Unexcused Absences

Policy: 3122P
Section: 3000 - Instruction


Procedure Excused and Unexcused Absence

 

Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day.  Teachers shall keep a record of absences and tardies and submit them daily as required by the attendance office.

 

Section I – Unexcused Absences

A.    All Students

The school shall notify a student’s parent or guardian in writing or by telephone whenever the student has failed to attend school after one unexcused absence.  The notification will include the potential consequences of additional unexcused absences.  If the parent is not fluent in English, the school must make reasonable efforts to provide this information in a language in which the parent is fluent.

 

A conference with the parent or guardian shall be held after two unexcused absences within a 30-day period.  If a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference day is to take place within thirty days of the second unexcused absence, then the school may schedule this conference on that day.  At such conference a school staff member, student and parents will take steps to ameliorate the cause for the student’s absences from school.  If the parent does not attend the conference, the parent will be notified of the steps the district has decided to take to reduce the students’ absences.  Corrective action may include:

a.       Adjusting schedule or assignments;

b.      Providing more individual or remedial instruction where appropriate;

c.       Referring the child to a community truancy board; and /or

d.      Assisting parent or child to obtain supplementary services that might

Eliminate or ameliorate the cause or causes for the absence from school.

 

No later than the fifth unexcused absence in a month:

a.       Enter into an agreement with a student and parent that establishes school attendance requirements;

b.      Refer a student to a community truancy board; or

c.       File a petition with the Juvenile Court of Benton County.

The petition may be filed by a school district employee who is not an attorney.

 

A petition under this regulation shall consist of a written notification to the court alleging that:

a.       The child has unexcused absences;

b.      The actions taken by the school/district have not been successful in substantially reducing the child’s absences from school; and

c.       The court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the school/district to reduce the child’s absences from school.

 

After seven unexcused absences within a month or 10 unexcused absences in a school year, the District shall file a petition and supporting affidavit for a civil action with Juvenile Court of Benton County alleging a violation of the attendance laws:

a.       By the parent;

b.      By the child; or

c.       By the parent and the child.

 

The petition must include a list of all interventions that have been attempted, include a copy of any previous truancy assessment completed by the child’s current school district, the history of approved best practices intervention or research-based intervention previously provided to the child by the child’s current school district and a copy of the most recent truancy information document signed by the parent and child.

 

            B. Secondary Students

On the first unexcused absence, parents will be contacted by the school and the student may be assigned to Academy (after school detention) or other corrective action.

 

After the second unexcused absence in one month, the student may be assigned Academy (after school detention) or other corrective action until a student/parent/counselor/administrator conference can be held.  In an effort to eliminate or reduce student absences, the District will take corrective action which shall include, where appropriate, adjusting the student’s program of studies, school, course assignment, providing more individualized or remedial instruction, preparing the student for employment with specific vocational courses or work experience, or both , and assisting the parent or student to identify and explore supplementary services that might eliminate the cause(s) for the absences from school.

 

Section II – Excused Absences

A.    Elementary Students

If an elementary school student has five or more excused absences in a single month during the current school year or ten or more excused absences in the current school year, the district will schedule a conference with the student and their parent(s) at a reasonably convenient time.  The conference is intended to identify barriers to the student’s regular attendance and to identify supports and resources so the student may regularly attend school.  Enter into an agreement with the student and parent(s) to establish school attendance requirements.

 

The conference must include at least one school district employee, preferably a nurse, counselor, social worker, teacher or community human service provider, and may occur on the same day as the scheduled parent-teacher conference, provided it takes place within thirty days of the absences.  If the student has an Individualized Education Program or a Section 504 Plan, the team that created that program must reconvene.

 

A conference is not required if prior notice of the excused absences was provided to the district or if a doctor’s note has been provided and a plan is in place to ensure the student will not fall behind in their coursework.

 

Students are allowed fifteen (15) excused absences in a school year.  Each absence thereafter is considered unexcused.  The principal may make exceptions when parents can demonstrate justifiable cause for the excessive absences (i.e., long-term illness, etc.).

  

B.     Seniors

Excessive absences:  Absences occurring during a student’s senior year will be monitored by the principal or his designee on a continuing basis with communication to student/parents/guardians commencing when lack of attendance could be a factor in the successful completion of graduation requirements.

 

C.     All Students

In the event that excused absences impede the educational success of a student, a building administrator will initiate any of the following actions:

1.      When a student is absent for Four (4) consecutive days the administrator may require a doctor’s note.

2.      When a student accumulates ten (10) excused absences in a semester, the parent or guardian will be contacted and the attendance record will be reviewed.

3.      When a student accumulates fifteen (15) excused absences in a year, a conference will be required.  The conference will include the student (when appropriate), the parent, a counselor and an administrator.  A Plan to insure regular attendance will be written and signed by participants of the conference.  If the child’s parent does not attend the scheduled conference, the conference may be conducted with the student and school official.  The parent shall be notified of the steps to be taken to eliminate or reduce the child’s absence.

Students are allowed fifteen (15) excused absences in a school year.  Each absence thereafter is considered unexcused.  The principal may make exceptions when parents can demonstrate justifiable cause for the excessive absences (i.e., long-term illness, etc.).

 

All sanctions imposed for failure to comply with the attendance policies and procedures shall be implemented in conformance with state and district regulations.

 

The student shall assume the responsibility to make arrangements with each teacher to make up missed assignments for all absences.

 

Section III.     Transfers

In the case of a student who transfers from one district to another during the school year, the sending district will provide to the receiving district, history of any best practices or researched-based intervention previously provided to the child, together with a copy of the WARNS assessment and any interventions previously provided to the student, the most recent truancy information including any online or written acknowledgement by the parent and child, as provided for in RCW 28A.225.005.

 

Section IV.     Community Truancy Board

The district will designate and identify to the juvenile court (and update as necessary) a staff member to coordinate district efforts to address excessive absenteeism and truancy, including outreach and conferences, coordinating the MOU, establishing protocols and procedures with the court, and coordinating trainings.

 

Section V.       Petition to Juvenile Court

The petition will contain the following:

 

1.      A statement that the student has unexcused absences in the current school year;

 

2.      An attestation that actions taken by the school district have not been successful in substantially reducing the student’s absences from school.

 

3.      A statement that court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the school district to reduce the student’s absences from school;

 

4.      A statement that RCW 28A.225.010 has been violated by the parent, student or parent and student;

 

5.      The student’s name, date of birth, school, address, gender, race and ethnicity; and the names and addresses of the student’s parents/guardians, whether the student and parent are fluent in English, whether there is an existing individualized education program (IEP) and the student’s current academic status in school;

 

6.      A list of all interventions that have been attempted, a copy of any previous truancy assessment completed by the student’s current school district, the history of approved best practices intervention or research-based intervention(s) previously provided to the student by the district, and a copy of the most recent truancy information document signed by the parent and student.

 

7.      Facts that support the above allegations.

 

Petitions may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, but if such service is unsuccessful, personal service is required.

 

 

 Adoption Date:

Kiona-Benton City School District
Revised Dates: 11.14.16