Decatur County Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

5200 - STUDENT ATTENDANCE

The Board requires all students enrolled in the schools and programs it offers to attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the State. The Boardís educational program is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in a well-planned instructional activity under the tutelage of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.

"Attendance" as used in this guideline shall mean to be physically present in a school or at another location where the Boardís educational program being offered at the times established by the Board and teacher is being conducted.

Exceptions to Compulsory Attendance

Exceptions to compulsory attendance recognized by the school are contained in Policy 5200. Students not in attendance at school for the exceptions contained in Policy 5200 shall not be recorded as absent from school.

Excused Absences

Each student absence shall be explained in writing and signed by the student if over eighteen (18) and by the studentís parents if the student is not yet eighteen (18). The written excuse shall be submitted to the Office and filed as part of the student's school record.

A written excuse for absence from school may be approved for one (1) or more of the reasons contained in Policy 5200.

In addition to the reasons listed as excused absences in Policy 5200, if a student is in good academic standing and the student or a member of the student's household has an exhibit at the Indiana State Fair for educational purposes, that student may receive up to five (5) excused absences.

Absences that do not accumulate against this guideline include college visits, not to exceed two (2) for Seniors, and one (1) for Juniors in number.

Unexcused Absences

Any absence that is not an excused absence or an exception to compulsory attendance contained in Policy 5200 is an unexcused absence.

Truancy

A student is "truant" each day or part of the day the studentís absence is unexcused. "Absence" means not present at the assigned location any time beyond the tardiness limit. A student will be "tardy" rather than absence if the student is in the assigned location after the official start of the school day, class, or assignment.

Truancy is a serious barrier to student achievement and represents a waste of scarce resources by failing to utilize instruction and curricular resources reserved for the truant student. To attempt to better utilize instructional resources on students willing to attempt to benefit from those resources, administrative action will be as follows:

A.

No credit will be recorded for work missed as a result of truancy.

   
 

B.

A record of the truancy will be entered in the student's record file.

   
 

C.

A parent conference may be held if the parent/guardian is willing and able to be an effective participant in addressing the truancy.

In accordance with Indiana law, the building principal and/or attendance officer shall keep the Bureau of Motor Vehicles informed of each student whose truancy has resulted in at least two (2) suspensions, an expulsion, or an exclusion from school or if the student has withdrawn from school in an effort to circumvent the loss of his/her learner's permit or application for a driver's license.

Habitual Truants

A student shall be considered a "habitual truant" when the student accumulates more than ten (10) unexcused absences in a school year.

Notice to Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The building principal and/or attendance officer shall notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of each student who is a habitual truant.

The disciplining of truant students shall be in accord with Board policies and due process described in the Student Code of Conduct and Board Policy 5611.

Students Leaving School During School Day

No student shall leave school during the school day established by the class schedule for that student without authorization by a staff member. No staff member shall permit or cause any student to leave the school prior to the regular hour of dismissal established by the schedule established for that student except with the approval of the principal and with notice to the studentís parent/guardian.

Encouraging Attendance

Promoting and fostering desired student attendance habits requires a commitment from the administration, faculty, and parents. No single individual or group can - in and of itself - successfully accomplish this task.

A professional staff member's responsibility must include, but not be limited to:

 

A.

providing meaningful learning experiences every day;

   
 

Therefore, a student who is absent from any given class period would be missing a significant component of the course.

   
 

B.

speaking frequently of the importance of students being in class, on time, ready to participate;

   
 

C.

keeping accurate attendance records (excused vs. unexcused);

   
 

D.

requiring an admit slip from a student when s/he returns from an absence and invoking a consequence if s/he does not have one;

   
 

E.

incorporating defined, daily participation as part of the teaching/learning process and each grading period (see AG 2220)

Make-Up Opportunities

A student may make-up units of study with a properly certificated teacher if prior approval has been granted by the principal.

Tardiness

 

A.

Students not in homeroom or in class when the late bell rings are considered tardy.

   
 

B.

All students who are tardy to school must report to the principal's office to sign in.

   
 

C.

When a teacher detains a student after class, s/he shall issue a late pass for the student's next class.

   
 

D.

Teachers are requested to refer cases of chronic tardiness to the principal.

Revised 1/14/15
Revised 3/9/15

© Neola 2015