Procedure for Verification for Valid Excused Absences
Valid Excused Absences are an illness, which may be either mental or physical; a family death; an absence permitted by a school age minor’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan; a family emergency; a family event; observance of religious holiday; medical appointment; pre-approved education/vacation leave.
- Students will be expected to obtain make-up work from their teacher and to complete make-up work and assignments within assigned timeframe.
- A student’s academic grade should not be penalized for absences or tardies.
- Teachers will be responsible for providing students with make-up work and identifying a reasonable deadline for completion.
Illness or Medical Appointment
- Parent provides a note from a health care provider to the front office.
- School front office staff records absence as E-DR.
Family Death, Family Emergency, Religious Holiday
- Parent provides notification to the school that the student will be absent.
- For students who have NOT missed 10 percent or more of the school year, parent notification (e.g. call, email) will be accepted for documentation of absence.
- For students who have missed 10 percent or more of the school year, additional documentation in addition to parent notification will be required (e.g. obituary, wedding announcement)
- School front office staff will record the absence using the appropriate school code (i.e. E-B, E-CT, E-R, E-FE).
Related to IEP or Section 504 Plan
- IEP or 504 Team identifies and documents in student plan specific criteria for excused student absences (e.g. doctor’s note identifies chronic medical illness, parent calls when student is absent due to chronic illness)
- IEP or 504 case manager communicates these criteria to front office staff.
- Parent provides notification to the school that the student is absent due to pre-identified individual student needs.
- School front office staff will record the absence using the appropriate school code.
Procedure for Education/Vacation Leave
A student may be allowed up to ten (10) days for education/vacation leave in a given school year, if prior arrangements have been made with the school for the student to make up his/her homework.
- Prior to education leave, parents complete an Education Leave/Vacation Form for approval.
- Teachers will complete Work to Be Completed section and determine a reasonable due date.
- School administration will verify education leave. If education leave exceeds 10 days within one school year, school administration will communicate with their School Performance Director to determine is approval of additional days may be granted.
- Students will complete work assigned by teacher and submit within the identified timeframe.
Unexcused Absence: If a parent fails to make prior arrangements with the principal for extended student absences and if the school cannot locate the parent or student to verify the reason for the student’s prolonged absence, the student’s absence is unexcused.
- Students with unexcused absences may be able to make-up work subject to approval by the principal.
Policy for Consistent Unexcused Absences
3-5 Unexcused Absences:
- Phone Call or Phone Call with Email from the teacher. They will inquire if the student is doing okay, express concern, and ask what the school can do to support the student making up work and not falling behind.
6-8 Unexcused Absences:
- Notification of Attendance Issue/Truancy Citation#1 – The attendance secretary will send, via both email and regular mail, a letter from the principal explaining that the student has missed six unexcused days of school and reminding the parent of the importance of regular school attendance. Parents contact the principal within 3 days to discuss their student’s attendance.
9-11 Unexcused Absences:
- Notice of Compulsory Education Violation/Truancy Citation #2 – The attendance secretary will send, via email, a second letter from the principal explaining that the student has missed nine unexcused absences. The letter will include a scheduled appointment for parents to meet with the principal, discuss the attendance, and develop a plan for improved attendance. A copy of the letter will also be sent to Suzanne Ren, District Truancy Officer, who will send a hardcopy of the letter via certified mail.
12 Unexcused Absences:
- Notice of Habitual Truancy/Truancy Citation #3 – Suzanne Ren, District Truancy Officer,will send the Habitual Truancy Citation Letter #3 through certified mail warning of the pending court referral. A Court referral will be made if the student has five more unexcused absences during the school year beyond letter #3.
17 Unexcused Absences:
- Court Referral – The court referral may result in a class B misdemeanor with the potential of a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail.
2019 - 2020 Attendance Goals
By June 2020, 85% of students in grades K-5 will attend school at least 95% of the time, making them On Track for graduation based on student attendance as an early warning sign.
2018 - 2019 Attendance Findings
- 9% of Copperview students Students are chronically absent with the “off track” indicator, with absenteeism rates between 10-20 percent of the school year.
- 1 % of Copperview students are chronically absent with the “severe” indicator, with absenteeism rates over 20 percent of the school year.
- During the 2018-19 school year, 66 percent of students in grades K-5 were identified as “On Track” based on student attendance data.
- During the 2018-19 school year, Grades 4 & 5 had the lowest rates of chronic absenteeism.
- During the 2018-2019 school year, Grade 2 has the highest rate of students “On Track”.
- During the 2018-2019 school year, the data reflect 69% “On Track”, 24% “At risk for Off Track”, 9% “Off Track”, and 1% “Severe”.
- In the 2018-2019 school year 9 percent of students were “Off Track,” and 1 percent was identified “Severe,”based on Copperview student attendance data. Another 24% were “At Risk for Off Track”. In basic terms 5 students missed more than 180 hours of instructional time during the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, 35 students missed at least 90 hours of instruction during the year.
- 69% on Track, 24% at risk for off track, 9% Off Track, 1% severe
Absence Prevention Plan
Evaluation: How will implementation progress be measured?
Participate in Attendance Awareness: Month Activities – September
Skylerts, announcements during back to school night and conferences. Notices/information shared on Cougar News. Information posted in FLC. Flyers home. Peachjar flyers. Attendance Tuesdays sent home on Class Tag.
Publicize the importance of attendance:
School website, newsletters, back to school night, banners, etc.
Make attendance data public:
Attendance announcements, publicly posted attendance goals, Friday text blasts with weekly attendance average, each class’s daily attendance posted outside the classroom
Bulletin board, attendance incentive competition (Cooties – see below)
Utilize attendance incentives:
Each class earns a point every day that attendance goal is met, create friendly competitions between grade levels, highlight and reinforce improved attendance
We are doing a school-wide incentive called “Cooties at Copperview”. Each class will earn pieces to a cootie critter, certificates, and rewards for 95% attendance.
Teach the importance of attendance
Incorporate into Morning Meeting, principal reminds students of importance during morning announcements, etc.
Make it a part of classroom morning announcements and Friday schoolwide announcements. Music in the cafeteria on days that we reach 90% as a school.
Morning Meeting/ Community Circles, 2×10 strategy, 4:1, teachers greeting each student by name and a “Glad you’re here!”
Teacher calls home, admin calls home, home visits.
Attendance Plan Evaluation
Evaluation: This section describes the steps that the school will take to evaluate the effect of their preventative initiatives. Evaluation should measure the quality of implementation. Examples include:
- Number of parent notifications sent
- Number of parental meetings held to discuss student attendance
- Number of phone calls made
- Number of Excused Absences attributable to illness
Attendance Support Plan – Evaluation of Student Progress
- The BLT will assess school and grade level data regularly to determine the total percent of students on track to meet school goals.
- The SST will review individual student data monthly and determine a plan of action for students who became “at-risk for off track” during that month.
- The SST will review individual student progress data for students previously identified as “at-risk for off track” to determine a plan to continue intervention, increase intervention, or fade intervention supports.
Community and Legal Intervention
In accordance with state law, a school administrator, school resource officer, or truancy specialist may issue a notice of compulsory education violation to a parent of a school-age child if the school-age child is absent without a valid excuse at least five times during the school year.
A notice of compulsory education violation shall:
- direct the parent of the school-age child to meet with school authorities to
- discuss school attendance problems;
- designate the school authorities with whom the parent is required to meet;
- state that it is a class B misdemeanor for the parent of the school-age child to intentionally or recklessly fail to meet with designated school authorities to discuss attendance problems or fail to prevent the school-age child from being absent without a valid excuse five or more times during the remainder of the school year;
- be served on the school-age parent by personal service or certified mail; and not be issued unless the school age child has been truant at least five times during the school year.
CSD Attendance Plan Assurances
- SCC approves plan
- School plan is accessible on school website
- Teachers accurately record student attendance daily for students.
- School staff follow guidelines for absence reporting and coding, as established by the Department of Planning and Enrollment.
- Principal has submitted school attendance plan to their respective School Performance director for review and approval