School Attendance Policy:
It is imperative that students be in attendance each School day in order not to miss a significant portion of their education. Important learning results result from active participation in classroom and other School activities, which cannot be replaced by individual study. The School is also concerned about helping students develop a high quality work ethic, which will be a significant factor in their success with future employers. One of the most important work habits that employers look for in hiring and promoting a worker is his/her dependability incoming to work every day and on time. This is a habit the School wants to help students develop as early as possible in their School careers.
Unexcused absence from School (truancy) is not acceptable. A"habitual truant" is defined as a student who has ten (10) or more days of unexcused absences in one (1) school year. All students who are at least thirteen (13) years of age but less than the age of fifteen (15)years, and who are determined to be a habitual truant per the definition above, are subject to Indiana Code 20-33-2-11, which provides that any person who is determined to be a habitual truant as defined by school board policy cannot be issued an operator's license or learner's permit until the age of 18 years, or until the student’s attendance record has improved as determined by the principal upon review of the student's record of at least once per school year. The student’s principal is required to report to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the student’s status as a habitual truant. The student upon initial designation of being a habitual truant is entitled to the same statutory procedures as a student who is being expelled.
Students who are truant may receive no credit for schoolwork that is missed. Habitual truancy can result in:
A. Assignment to an alternative placement with loss of participation in School activities and events;
B. A loss of driver's license through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles;
C. A report to juvenile authorities;
D. A report to local authorities concerning lack of parental responsibility in providing proper care and supervision of a child.
Students may be excused from School for one of the following reasons and will be provided an opportunity to make-up missed schoolwork and/or tests:
A. Members of and students who participate in any Indiana wing of the military;
B. Personal illness but not illness in the family unless the circumstances are approved by the principal;
C. Death in the immediate family;
D. Bona-fide religious holiday;
E. Professional appointments that cannot be scheduled at non-school times;
F. Two college visits for 11th or 12th grade students (or more with principal permission);
G. Statutory reasons as provided by Indiana Code 33-2-14, -15, -16, -17, 17.2 and -17.5 (Note: Absences for any of these statutory reasons are excused). Students with a health condition that causes repeated absence are to provide the School office with an explanation of the condition from a licensed physician or other qualified practitioner as provided in Indiana Code 20-33-2-18.
Attendance at school is vital to a student’s academic progress and success. School personnel must ensure that appropriate out- reach,intervention, and support are provided for students who exhibit attendance problems that may manifest themselves as truancy or patterns of unexcused absence or educational neglect. In cases of truancy, school personnel must meet with the student and parent in order to determine needed supports and an appropriate course of action, which may include,but is not limited to: guidance intervention, referral for counseling,and/or referral to after school programs. Students may also be referred to the Probation Department and be involved with Project Attend.
The school’s Attendance Committee should review cases of chronic absenteeism and/or truancy and should involve teachers, deans, guidance counselors, social workers, and other school staff in facilitating are solution. Cases of suspected educational neglect must be reported.
- Parents must provide an explanation for their child's absence by no later than 24 hours from the day of the absence.
- Advance notice or notification on the day of the absence is preferred.
- Parents are to call the school office and explain the reason for the absence.
- If the absence can be foreseen the parent should arrange to discuss the matter as many days as possible before the absence will occur so that arrangements can be made to assist the student in making up the missed School work.
Students who are excusably absent for more than 4 days in a grading period, regardless of the reasons, will be considered "frequently absent". If there is a pattern of frequent absence for "illness", the parents may be required to provide a statement from a physician describing the health condition that is causing the frequent illness and the treatment that is being provided to rectify the condition. Without such a statement, the student's permanent attendance record will indicate "frequent unexplained absence".
During the next grading period, a "frequently-absent" student may be placed on "attendance watch" to monitor whether or not the pattern continues. If it continues, the student may be denied the opportunity to participate in non-curricular-school activities and events and a notation made on his/her transcript concerning his/her frequent absence from School.
Such a report may be provided post secondary institutions and/or possible employers. Note: Statutory reasons for excused absences as provided by Indiana Code 20-33-2-14, -15, -16, -17, -17.2 and -17.5 include:
A. Service as a page or as an honoree of the Indiana General Assembly.
B. Service on the precinct election board or as a helper to a political candidate on election day.
C. In response to a subpoenas to appear in court as a witness.
D. Active duty with the Indiana National Guard for not more than ten (10) days in a school year.
E. Service as a member of the Indiana wing of the civil air patrol under the terms stated in Indiana Code 20- 33-2-17.2.
F. Authorized attendance at an educationally related non-classroom activity under the terms stated in Indiana Code 20-33-2-17.5.
Each student is expected to be in his/her assigned location throughout the School day. If a student is late in arriving at School, she/he is to report to the School office before going to his/her first assigned location. Any student who is late for class up to 5 minutes shall be considered tardy and may be disciplined by the teacher or principal. Students who are more than 5 minutes late to class will be considered truant. Continued tardiness and/or truancy will require discipline based on the discipline standards in this handbook. Continued truant behavior includes repeated lateness for class, which may result in a record and the consequence of habitual truancy.
Vacations during the School Year:
Parents are encouraged not to take their child out of School for vacations. When a family vacation must be scheduled during the School year, the parent(s) must discuss the matter with the Principal, two weeks in advance to make necessary arrangements and fill out a form for the vacation. (See the principal for the form). It may be possible for the student to receive certain assignments that are to be completed during the trip. Excused absences for a vacation may not be more than 5 days. Any absence of this type must be arranged and documented with the principal two weeks in advance.
Make-up of Tests and Other School Work Make-Ups:
Students who are excusably absent from School or who have been suspended are responsible to make-up work for all of the days that have been missed. The student should contact the teacher or guidance counselor as soon as possible to obtain assignments. Students will be given the same number of days absent within which to make-up work. If a student misses a teacher's test due to an absence, s/he must make arrangements with the teacher to take the test. If s/he misses the ISTEP Test or other standardized test, the student should consult with the guidance counselor or principal to arrange for taking the test if possible.