Student Attendances and Absences - School Board Policy 8-2.4
The Importance of Regular School Attendance
It's a fact: Students who attend school regularly learn more and are more successful in school than students who do not. Parents who make regular school attendance a priority also are helping their children learn to accept responsibility, and that’s an important lesson for a successful life. Attendance patterns are formed early in life. Children who develop good attendance habits in the early grades will be more likely to continue them throughout their school career, as well as into their chosen career. Regular attendance is critically important, because students who miss school miss out on carefully planned sequences of instruction. They miss out on active learning experiences and class participation. They miss out on the opportunity to ask questions. As a result, they are more likely to fall behind, and they are more likely to drop out.
Highlights of School Board Policy §8-2.4: Student Attendance and Absences/Truancy
- An excused absence results from conditions beyond the control of the parent/guardian and/or the student or school. Acceptable absences could include personal illness, death in the family, court appearance, religious holidays, and extenuating circumstances as approved by the school administration.
- Schools are required by state law to take specific actions if a student accumulates a certain number of unexcused absences.
- Students shall not be absent (excused or unexcused reasons, excluding suspensions) for 18 or more school days per year or 18 class periods.
- Any student who misses 18 or more days of school will not be eligible to receive course credit and/or will be subject to retention.
- A waiver for these attendance policies may be considered for medical hardships or other very unique circumstances as determined by the Division Superintendent or his designee.
- Parents and guardians are required to provide a note requesting that the days absent be considered excused absences within five (5) schools days of the last day of school missed. If a note for the day(s) absent is not provided within five (5) school days of the last day of school missed, the period of absences will be considered unexcused.
- Early intervention with the student and parent or parents takes place for repeated unexcused absences.
- Please see School Board Policy linked below for further details about how unexcused absences are handled.
Tardies and Early Dismissals
- Students should start and remain in school for the entirety of the school day. No student shall be allowed to leave school early except in cases of sickness or for some pressing emergency. Parent/guardians are encouraged to make medical and other appointments outside of school hours.
- Students with excessive unexcused tardies or early dismissals may receive sanctions as determined by the superintendent or their designee. Tardies are defined as being more than 30 minutes late to school and early dismissals are defined as leaving more than 30 minutes early.
- Students obtaining permission to leave school during school hours due to sickness shall be required to return a special form properly signed by the parent or legal guardian. All notes of excuse or requests to leave school shall state the reason for such excuse or request. The principal shall judge the validity of all such excuses and requests.
If you see a student out of school between 7:25 am and 2:00 pm, call the RPS Attendance Support Hotline at (804) 780-4646.