Stevensville School District
Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day. Teachers shall keep a record of absence and tardiness. Before the end of the school day, each school shall attempt to contact every parent, guardian, or custodian whose child is absent from school but who has not reported the child as absent for the school day, to determine whether the parent, guardian, or custodian is aware of the child’s absence from school.
- A student will be allowed eight (8) absences per class, per semester. Any absence beyond that number may mean a loss of credit in those subjects missed.
- The ONLY absences that WILL NOT be used in calculating the attendance record are:
- Those that occur due to school-sponsored activities, since these are considered an equivalent educational experience. These exemptions will apply to students participating in sports events, cheerleading, music-related events, FFA trips, academic field trips, and others deemed co-curricular.
- Bereavement in the immediate family. Any extended bereavement may be reviewed by the Attendance Board.
- Subpoenas to appear in court or court-ordered, out-of-District placements for special services.
- Illness or hospitalization verified by a doctor’s statement.
- Absences which will be counted in the eight (8) day limit will include such areas as: family trips, work days, vacations, visiting friends or relatives, suspension in and out of school, watching tournaments when not an actual participant, hair, medical, dental, or photography appointments, skiing, hunting, court appearances, attending concerts, shopping, or any others not mentioned which are unacceptable to the Attendance Board.
- After four (4) absences from school/class, a letter will be sent to the student’s home, indicating the school policy and the number of days missed.
- After six (6) absences, another letter will be sent, indicating the severity of the situation and explaining in detail the alternatives for non-compliance.
- After going over the eighth (8th) absence, the student may have credit withheld. That student, with parental accompaniment, must appear before the Attendance Board, consisting of the high school principal, the guidance counselor, and those teachers whose classes the student has exceeded the allowable number of absences.
- The Attendance Board will review the absence report to determine if the student will have credit withheld, which will occur unless extenuating circumstances surface.
- The Attendance Board can, after hearing a student’s/parent’s appeal for reinstatement of credit, deny credit or put certain stipulations on a student whose credit will be dependent upon an agreement reached with the student and parents concerning attendance for the rest of the semester.
- Any decision to withhold credit can be appealed to the Superintendent and/or to the Board.
- If the appeal is not granted, the student may remain in that particular class period for the remainder of the semester, or be placed as directed by the building administration.
- If the appeal is granted, the student will return to class with the Attendance Board’s stipulations. If the stipulations are violated, a loss of credit will result.
- The Attendance Board may also decide to make decisions regarding the student’s participation in extracurricular activities.
The following are valid excuses for absence and tardiness. Missed work assignments and activities may be made up in the manner provided by the teacher.
- Participation in school-approved activity – To be excused, this absence must be authorized by a staff member and the affected teacher(s) must be notified prior to the absence, unless it is clearly impossible to do so.
- Absence caused by illness, health condition, or family emergency – When possible, the parent is expected to notify the school office on the morning of the absence and send a signed note of explanation with the student upon his/her return to school. A student shall be allowed one (1) makeup day for each day of absence. “Emergency” shall be defined as unforeseen and unexpected circumstances which create an air of crisis or extreme need. Such circumstances must present a grave and clear danger which could result in irremediable harm or immediate disaster.
- Absence for parental-approved activities – This category of absence shall be counted as excused for purposes agreed upon by the principal and the parent. An absence may not be approved if it causes a serious adverse effect on the student’s educational progress. In participation-type classes (e.g., certain music and physical education classes), the student may not be able to achieve the objectives of the unit of instruction as a result of absence from class. In such a case, a parent-approved absence would have an adverse effect on the student’s educational progress, which would ultimately be reflected in the grade for such a course.
- Absence resulting from disciplinary actions or short-term suspension – Students who are removed from a class or classes as a disciplinary measure, or students who have been placed on short-term suspension, shall have the right to make up assignments or exams missed during time they were denied entry to the classroom. Implementation to begin with 2012-13 school year.
Extended illness or health condition – If a student is confined to home or hospital for an extended period, the school shall arrange for the accomplishment of assignments at the place of confinement whenever practicable. If the student is unable to do his/her schoolwork, or if there are major requirements of a particular course which cannot be accomplished outside of class, the student may be required to take an incomplete or withdraw from the class without penalty.
Excused absence for chronic health condition – Students with a chronic health condition which interrupts regular attendance may qualify for placement in a limited attendance and participation
program. The student and his/her parent shall apply to the principal or counselor, and a limited program shall be written following the advice and recommendations of the student’s medical advisor. The recommended limited program shall be approved by the principal. Staff shall be informed of the student’s needs, though the confidentiality of medical information shall be respected at the parent’s request. Absence verified by a medical practitioner may be sufficient justification for home instruction.
- Each unexcused absence shall be followed by a warning letter to the parent of the student. A student’s grade shall not be affected if no graded activity is missed during such an absence.
- When a student evidences repeated truancies, a conference shall be held among the parent, student, and administration.
- If the above action fails to correct the truancy problem, the student shall be declared an habitual truant. The attendance administrator shall interview the student and his/her family and prescribe corrective action, which may include suspension for the current semester, expulsion, and/or filing a complaint against the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child, in a court of competent jurisdiction. A student who has been expelled for attendance violations may petition the Board for reinstatement. Such petition may be granted upon presentation of a firm and unequivocal commitment to maintain regular attendance.
Students are expected to be in class on time. When a student’s tardiness becomes frequent or disruptive, the student shall be referred to the administration. If counseling, parent conference, or disciplinary action is ineffective in changing the student’s attendance behavior, the student may be suspended from the class.
All sanctions imposed for failure to comply with the attendance policies and procedures shall be implemented in conformance with state and District regulations regarding corrective action or punishment.
Adopted on: Dec. 2001
Reviewed on: Jan. 10, 2012