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PUPIL PERSONNEL (SECONDARY ATTENDANCE POLICY)
CATEGORIES OF ABSENCES
Absences from school fall into one of three categories:
1. waived – does not count toward the absence limit
2. limited – counts toward the absence limit
3. unexcused – counts toward the absence limit
Absences may be waived for the following reasons:
1. death of an immediate family member
2. medical/dental appointments verified with written physician statement which cannot be scheduled outside the school day
3. court or legal appointments requiring the student’s presence – verification required
4. religious observances – one day prior notification required
5. educational reasons- college visitation, workshops, etc. – one day prior notification is required
6. other special circumstances if prior approval is granted by the principal
Absences are considered limited if:
A parent statement (by telephone or written note) explaining the reason is provided to the office upon returning to school. If no note is received by the second day back to school, the absence shall be recorded as unexcused. Example of limited absence: illness
Absences are considered unexcused if:
1. there is no excusable reason given with the specified time limit
2. the reason for the absence cannot be verified
3. the absence required prior approval or notification and the approval was not obtained or notification was not given before the absence
Students missing school for the following reasons, will be legally counted as “present”.
7. serving as page in the legislature or other similar honor – verification required
8. service in National Guard – verification required
9. service on precinct election board or as a worker for a candidate on political party – must have parent permission and verify performance of duties
10. field trips or other out-of-class school sponsored activities – prior approval necessary
11. in-school suspension
12. mandatory attendance at a court ordered activity – verification required
Truancy is absence from school without the parent or guardian’s permission. Indiana Code 20-33-2.1 provides that any person, at least thirteen (13) years of age, but less than fifteen (15) who is determined to be a habitual truant, cannot be issued an operator’s license or learner’s permit under IC 9-24, until the age of eighteen (18). The Board Policy of West Clark community Schools defines habitual truant as a student who willfully refuses to attend school in defiance of parental or school authority in any one of the following circumstances:
1. is chronically absent, by having unexcused absences from school for more than ten (10) days of school in one (1) school year, or
2. is truant for three (3) separate instances in a period of two consecutive semesters, or
3. is truant for a total of five (5) days in a period of two consecutive semesters
1. when a student is in jeopardy of losing credit(s), (or receiving an “F” or being retained,) a conference with the student and/or parent will be held to discuss the problem. An attendance contract may be developed.
2. Under state law a 13 to 18 year old student may not be issued a driver’s license or learner’s permit, or it may be revoked, until the age of 18 for habitual truancy, expulsion, two out-of-school suspensions (in a year), or withdrawal from school.
3. the student’s work permit may also be revoked under IC 20-33-3-13, if the student’s attendance is not in good standing, or whose grades do not meet the corporation’s standards (see policy 6.0-42-2).
PROCEDURES FOR EXCESS ABSENCES (OVER 7) IN A SEMESTER
A student cannot exceed a total of seven (7) limited and unexcused absences per semester.
When a student obtains a total of four (4) limited or unexcused absences, the school will send a letter home, call, or make a home visit to discuss the student’s attendance. The student and parent shall also be notified, again, if and when the excess (limited and unexcused) absences reach the point (7+) that further penalties can occur.
Upon receipt of notice from the school, the student/parent shall have 5 school days to notify the Principal that they wish to appeal the loss of grade stating the reasons for such appeal. If the Principal does not grant approval of the grade(s), the student and/or parent , upon notification by the principal, will have the opportunity to present an appeal to the Attendance Appeals Committee, which shall consist of two teachers, counselor, principal (or designee). This second appeal must also be requested within 5 school days of the above notice.
The following are actions that may occur due to 7+ absences per semester:
1. the assigned course grade may become an “F”
2. the student may be subject to retention in the same grade for excessive absences, after an opportunity to appeal.
3. At the principal’s discretion, students in grades 6, 7, or 8 (not in grades 9-12) may be permitted to “make-up” excessive absences in an after school setting.
4. Students may be referred to the Clark County Attendance Review Panel in order to prevent expulsion, suspension, and a loss of education. This agency will intervene with the student’s family and the student with referrals to agencies that address issues of student absenteeism.
5. Students may be referred directly to the Clark County Division of Families and Children or the Clark County Probation when there is lack of parental involvement, neglect, or failure to communicate with the school.
6. Parents may be prosecuted for violation of the Indiana Compulsory School Attendance Law, with a maximum possible sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Parents may also be charged with neglect of a dependent, which is a Class D Felony that carries a maximum jail term of not more than 3 years.
WAIVER OF ABSENCES
1. In the event of extenuating circumstances, the parent(s) may request that excessive absences be waived.
2. A Waiver Request form may be secured from the office and the form must be completed and returned to the office within five (5) school days from the day the student returns to school following such absences. Any waiver request made after the specified five (5) day time period will not be considered. The decision to approve or deny the wavier request will be made by the Principal or designee.