Student Absences and Excuses
Significant learning is provided daily for all students in every district classroom. This educational opportunity is the result of in-class participation and quality classroom instruction. The benefits of this experience cannot be fully replaced. Consequently, regular and punctual attendance is an important criterion for success in school and absences are detrimental to effective learning. Each student in the district is required to attend school daily as established by the calendar determined annually by the Board and in compliance with state law. Unauthorized absences shall be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in accompanying procedures. A cooperative effort between the student, parent, district and the community regarding attendance fosters a positive educational experience. Therefore, the following goals and guidelines have been developed to establish good attendance habits at an early age. These habits will positively transfer with the students and their parents/guardians as students progress through the district’s educational program and beyond the scholastic setting.
Excused absences are defined as any absence from school due to temporary illness or injury and any other reason deemed acceptable by the school administrator. In general, prior notice of absence from the student’s parent or guardian is required and the school administrator may require verification, such as a physician’s statement, when appropriate.
The following shall be considered excused absences:
- A student who is temporarily ill or injured or whose absence is approved by the administrator of the school of attendance on a prearranged basis. Prearranged absences shall be approved for appointments or circumstances of a serious nature only which cannot be taken care of outside of school hours. Approval for a pre-arranged absence(s) may necessitate a parent conference.
- A student who is absent for an extended period due to physical, mental or emotional disability. Medical documentation may be required.
- A student who is pursuing a work-study program under the supervision of the school.
- A student who is attending any school-sponsored activity or activities of an educational nature with advance approval by the administration.
- A student who is suspended or expelled.
Attendance Plan and Attendance Court
When a student has reached four absences from school in any month or ten absences during any school year, the school shall either require a meeting or other form of communication between the student’s parent guardian and appropriate school personnel to review and evaluate the reasons for the student being habitually absent from school. A plan may be developed for the student with the goal of assisting the student to remain in school. When practicable, the student’s parent/guardian may participate with school personnel in the development of the plan. The district may require suitable proof regarding the above exceptions, including written statements from medical sources. When the district is aware that criteria exist to designate a student as habitually truant, the district shall refer the students and his or her parent/guardian to the Weld County Judicial System, Youth and Family Connections and/or the Weld County District Attorney’s Juvenile Diversion Unit.
An unexcused absence is defined as an absence that is not covered by one of the foregoing exceptions. Additionally, an unexcused absence shall be recorded if a student leaves a school or leaves a class without permission of the teacher or school administrator. Each unexcused absence shall be entered on the student’s record. The parents/guardians of the student receiving an unexcused absence shall be notified orally or in writing by the district of the unexcused absence. In accordance with law, the district may impose academic penalties which relate directly to classes missed while unexcused. Penalties may include a warning, school detention or in-school suspension. Academic penalties, out-of-school suspensions or expulsion shall not be imposed for an unexcused absence. The maximum number of unexcused absences a student may incur before judicial proceedings are initiated to enforce compulsory attendance is 10 during any calendar year or school year.
Tardiness is defined as the appearance of a student without proper excuse after the scheduled time that a class begins. Because of the disruptive nature of tardiness and the detrimental effect upon the rights of the non-tardy student to uninterrupted learning, appropriate penalties shall be imposed for excessive tardiness. Parents/guardians shall be notified of all penalties regarding tardiness. In an unavoidable situation, a student detained by another teacher or administrator shall not be considered tardy provided that the teacher or administrator gives the student a pass to enter the next class. Teachers shall honor passes presented in accordance with this policy.