Administrative Guideline - 4200 Student Attendance

Last Revised on May 2, 2013

The Board requires all students enrolled in the schools and programs it offers to attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the State. The Board’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 tutelage of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.

“Attendance” as used in this guideline shall mean to be physically present in a school or at another location where the Board’s educational program being offered at the times established by the Board and teacher is being conducted.

Exceptions to Compulsory Attendance

Exceptions to compulsory attendance recognized by the school are contained in Policy 5200. Students not in attendance at school for the exceptions contained in Policy 5200 shall not be recorded as absent from school.

Excused Absences

Each student absence shall be explained in writing and signed by the student if over eighteen (18) and by the student’s parents if the student is not yet 18. The written excuse shall be submitted to the individual or office designated by the student’s school and filed as part of the student's school record.

A written excuse for absence from school may be approved for one (1) or more of the reasons contained in Policy 5200.

Unexcused Absences

Any absence that is not an excused absence or an exception to compulsory attendance contained in Policy 5200 is an unexcused absence.

Student Vacations During the School Year

Students are permitted to go on vacation during the school year without penalty (except the week ending each semester). The purpose of this administrative guideline is to establish standards to accommodate parents who want to take their vacations during the school year and the desire to enjoy that time as a family. Vacation days will count toward the ACES Attendance Program. 

Truancy

A student is “truant” each day or part of the day the student’s absence is unexcused. “Absence” means not present at the assigned location any time beyond the tardiness limit. 

Truancy is a serious barrier to student achievement and represents a waste of scarce resources by failing to utilize instruction and curricular resources reserved for the truant student. To attempt to better utilize instructional resources on students willing to attempt to benefit from those resources, administrative action will be as follows:   

Habitual Truants 

A student shall be considered an “habitual truant” when the student accumulates more than ten (10) unexcused absences in a school year. 

Notice to Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles 

In accordance with Indiana law, the building principal and/or attendance officer shall keep the Bureau of Motor Vehicles informed of each student whose truancy has resulted in at least two (2) suspensions, an expulsion, or an exclusion from school or if the student has withdrawn from school in an effort to circumvent the loss of his/her learner's permit or application for a driver's license. The student's current license cannot be revoked for habitual truancy. 

The disciplining of truant students shall be in accord with Board policies and due process described in the Student Code of Conduct and Board Policy 5611. 

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. 

A professional staff member's responsibility must include, but not be limited to:

•             Providing meaningful learning experiences every day;

•             therefore, a student who is absent from any given class period would be missing a significant component of the course.

•             keeping accurate attendance records (excused vs. unexcused).

Make-Up Opportunities

A student may make-up units of study with a properly certificated teacher if prior approval has been granted by the principal. Students will be given the opportunity for making-up work missed due to approved absences. The length of time for completion of make-up work shall be commensurate with the length of the absence.

Tardiness

All students who are tardy to school must report to the principal's office to sign in. When a teacher detains a student after class, s/he shall issue a late pass for the student's next class.

Revised 10/15/08

© NEOLA 2011