Administrative Regulation 501.15A
ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
These procedures have been instituted to insure prompt parent, guardian or actual custodian notification of unexcused absences and accountability for an unreasonable number of excused absences. Their purpose is to provide for progressive intervention and consistent enforcement.
One of the most significant factors affecting school success is regular attendance. Time in class is essential to the growth and development of each student and time lost will limit the opportunity for uniform instructional interaction and support.
Mandatory school attendance applies to children who turn the ages of six and sixteen before September 15th of that school year. Parents are ultimately responsible to ensure that their children attend school on a regular basis.
Research indicates that poor school attendance is directly linked to a decline in academic achievement. This absenteeism results in lost productivity for teachers, students and the class as a whole. This administrative regulation is intended to:
• Provide strong incentives to attend school regularly,
• Encourage the make up of missed work as a result of an absence,
• Avoid punitive measures as a reaction to excessive absenteeism,
• Create a procedure that is enforceable and manageable for school staff,
• Meet federal and state requirements for attendance.
II. School Administration Responsibilities
A. Students are expected to attend all classes unless excused by the school’s
administration. A student is absent when he/she misses all or part of a school day.
1. The school administration may excuse students from class due to illness, a professional appointment, bereavement, a mandated court appearance, religious services or instruction, family trips, to participate in extracurricular school activities or an emergency outside the control of the student’s family.
2. All excuses are subject to the approval of the principal, who may require written proof of authenticity.
B. The school administration has a responsibility to communicate promptly (see
Truancy first level interventions) with parent/guardian when students are absent
from school and to address the causes of poor attendance patterns.
III. Parental Responsibility
According to Iowa law and the Davenport Community School District Attendance Policy and Guidelines, parents, guardians and actual custodians are expected to make reasonable efforts to cause their child to attend school. Reasonable efforts include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Call school each day their child is absent and communicate with school staff concerning their child’s absences from school.
2. Not allow or cause their child to be tardy to school. Students may be kept after school to make up work missed from being late to school or tardy to class.
3. Provide necessary medical excuses for absences and provide medical treatment that may be necessary to cause school attendance. An excuse should contain the date/s the student was absent and as much detail as possible about the illness that caused the child to miss school.
4. Communicate with their child’s principal any health or behavioral problem that may interfere with school attendance and plan accordingly to encourage regular attendance.
5. Cooperate with school staff in developing and carrying out behavior management programs designed to cause their child’s school attendance.
6. Attend school (whenever possible) with their child when he/she refuses to attend alone or to stay in class.
7. Seek help for their child from school staff, family members and/or other community resources if the student resists attending school.
8. Enroll in parent education classes or join parent support groups.
9. Treat head lice infestations in an appropriate and timely manner.
IV. Student Responsibility
1) Arrange to complete make up work with school personnel/teachers. Students are to be given a minimum of a day to make up each day absence plus an extra day at the end of each absence. Teachers may give additional time at their discretion.
- Teachers need a minimum of 24 hours notice to prepare work for students who are absent.
- Teachers may or may not provide work in advance for planned student absence.
2) Complete all missed work as a result of absences/s to receive credit.
V. Unexcused Absences (Truancy)
1) Any absence that has not been properly excused by the parents, guardians or actual custodians and approved by the school administration within two (2) school days after the student’s return to school
a) Becomes a truancy, and;
b) Will initiate the first level of school based interventions for truancy.
Davenport Community Schools takes student truancy seriously. The following is a three phase intervention process designed to encourage regular attendance, help parents enforce attendance expectations, and define necessary procedures and consequences to address poor student attendance patterns.
First level school based interventions
1) At least one documented phone call by the principal or designee to
parent/guardian with actual verbal communication between school staff and
parent/guardian. (Auto dialer is not considered acceptable contact) will occur-the first day an absence is determined to be unexcused.
a. Examples of unexcused absence:
i. No contact from parent or guardian via phone
ii. No healthcare excuse or other support
iii. Lack of other verifiable documentation
b. Leaving a message or voicemail is not adequate.
c. If the school staff is unable to reach the parent/guardian then move on to
2) An official letter mailed to parent/guardian on building letterhead documenting
student absence(s) and requiring a parent/guardian conference.
3) A home visit shall be arranged by the principal or school staff designee to establish next steps to ensure regular attendance.
Second and/or tertiary level interventions will be initiated if these steps do not result in regular student attendance.
Second Level District Based Interventions
Mandatory attenders (grades K-9 or ages 6-16) will be referred to the Family Liaison Check and Connect Program. The Check and Connect Family Liaisons will:
■ Build a relationship with each student and their family;
■ Implement interventions to keep students involved in their education;
■ Monitor grades, credits, and attendance regularly;
■ Offer academic support including academic support opportunities;
■ Facilitate collaboration between the school, home, and community-based programs to ensure educational success.
Non-Mandatory Attenders (10th-12lh grade or 16 and older by Sept. 15th of that school year) will be referred to the Drop-Out Prevention Interventionists who will:
Assist students with academic and social/emotional issues such as:
• Attendance problems
• Poor grades/assist assignment completion Behavior problems
• Family Issues
• Relationships and personal issues
Also coordinate and facilitate meetings with:
Juvenile Court Offices/Probation Counselors
• School Staff
• Case Workers (Social Services)
High School/Community College Liaison
Students who should be graduating that current school year and are exhibiting excessive absences will be referred by the Drop-out program staff to the High School/Community College Liaison.
Tertiary and Final Interventions
If, after a reasonable amount of time (determined by the Check and Connect staff and school administration), the interventions have not been effective, the students case will be turned over to the strict truancy officer and legal proceedings will be pursued with the appropriate offices.
E. Dropping Students From School
In the case of mandatory attenders who have not been in attendance for ten (10) consecutive days, whereabouts are unknown and “no communication” with the family has occurred, the student should be dropped from enrollment.
In the case of non-mandatory attenders, who have missed sixteen consecutive days in a term, the student shall be notified that they have been dropped from enrollment.
F. Chronic/Long-Term Illness (Students who do not qualify for home instruction)
Chronic or long-term illness, three or more consecutive illness days, will be personally verified by the school nurse or by direct contact with a physician.
Occasionally, a family will need assistance in coping with legitimate chronic illness and resulting excessive school absenteeism. A school-based team may be established to more clearly define the student’s health concern with the goal of ensuring the student is able to maintain their academic standing and not fall so far behind that they risk delaying their graduation.
The school-based team recommendations/interviews could include parent conferences, home visits, obtaining medical releases, consulting with the family physician, and referral to community-based resources that are in the student’s best interest.
- Updated 4/98, 7/99
- Reviewed 3/04
- Revised 6/17/10