Regular school attendance is required by state law until the student reaches his/her eighteenth birthday. Students are expected to attend school every day school's in session. Regular school attendance is important for a successful experience at school. Regular attendance exposes students to greater amount of academic content and instruction. Completing make-up homework assignments cannot compensate for missing class discussions, explanations, or new instruction presented by the teacher. For a student to qualify for Perfect Attendance at the end of the school year, he/she must be PRESENT EACH DAY and have NO ABSENCES AND NO TARDIES. DOCUMENTATION of appointments is required.
Parents are to call the office by 9:00 am each day a child is absent. Parents requesting homework assignments should call by 9:00 am for pick-up after 2:00 pm. Students arriving at 10:00 a.m. or later will be counted absent for the school day.
The office will maintain attendance records. A maximum of six (6) days per semester and a maximum of twelve (12) days per school year will be excused. Students must have written explanation from their doctor for every absence above and beyond the maximum of six (6) days per semester or twelve (12) days per year. Any absence after six (6) per semester will count as unexcused unless the office has documentation from the doctor.
Step One: Parents will be notified in writing when their child has five (5) excused absences for the semester or ten (10) excused absences for the school year.
Step Two: A parent conference with an administrator will be scheduled to discuss your child’s attendance when their child has five (5) unexcused absences.
Step Three: The principal or designee shall report a child who is habitually absent, defined by ten (10) unexcused absences, from school to an intake officer with Juvenile Services or the Department of Child Services.
A. Excused absences: An excused absence is a child’s personal illness, illness in the family, quarantine of the home, death of a relative, observance of religious holidays, doctor or dentist appointments, serving as a page in the Indiana General Assembly and being a witness or a party in judicial proceedings. Undocumented excused absences are those reported to the school by the student’s parent or legal guardian. Documented excused absences are those verified in writing by an appropriate professional. After 5 consecutive days of absence, a physician’s note must accompany the child’s return to school in order to be an “excused” absence.
B. Unexcused absences: An unexcused absence is any absence which does not qualify as either type of excused absence or which is not reported by the student’s legal guardian or appropriate professional.
Parent/Guardian Consequences for Unexcused Absences
1. Required by law-As a parent/guardian it is your legal duty to ensure that your child attends school. If you fail to ensure your child’s school attendance, you may be prosecuted for the crime of Failing to Ensure School Attendance, a Class B misdemeanor. A person convicted of a Class B misdemeanor may be given up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000 (one thousand dollars)
2. If your failure to ensure your child’s school attendance worsens to such a point that it is clear you are knowingly and intentionally depriving your child of an education as required by law, you may be prosecuted for Neglect of a Dependent, a Class D felony. A person convicted of a Class D felony may be given up to three (3) years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 (ten thousand dollars).
3. If your failure to ensure your child’s school attendance worsens to such a point that it is clear that your child’s physical or mental condition is seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of your inability, refusal or neglect to supply your child with necessary education, you and your child may be subject to the filing of a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) case in Juvenile Court. This action may result in your child being removed from your care.
A family vacation during days when school is in sessions is strongly discouraged. It is hoped that families will be able to arrange their vacation schedules around the school calendar. If, it is impossible to arrange vacations outside of school time, the principal and teacher must be notified five (5) days prior to the vacation. The length of the absence shall not exceed (5) days and only (1) such activity shall be considered each school year.
Please refer to the school attendance policy section for procedures related to student absences. Absences due to vacations count toward the total number of days missed for the semester and school year.