The following will be considered excused absences
- Illness, quarantine of student, doctor or dentist appointment
- Death in the family
- Observance of a religious holiday
- Summons to a court of law
- Violent storms or state emergencies
- Severe family emergency
- All others approved in advance by principal (or designee)
All other absences are unexcused absences, including absences for valid reasons when the verified contact documentation or written note from the parent/guardian is not filed within two days following the student’s return to school.
Penalties for excessive unexcused absences
At the elementary level, any sign of an emerging pattern of unexcused absences must be dealt with swiftly. The parent/guardian shall be advised after the first unexcused absence. After the second unexcused absence, a letter from the principal explaining the attendance policy shall be sent to the parent (APS Attendance Policy Letter). In the event of a third unexcused absence, the principal (or designee) shall mail the APS 3-day Unexcused Absence letter. In the event of a fifth absence, the principal (or designee) shall contact the parent (phone or in person) to determine whether there is a need for other school or community resources to address needs related to nonattendance, and to create an attendance improvement plan. As a follow-up, the APS 5-day Attendance Plan Follow-up letter shall be mailed. If there is a sixth unexcused absence the principal (or designee), shall schedule within ten (10) days, and hold within fifteen (15) days, a face-to-face conference with the parent to review the attendance improvement plan. The APS 6-day Unexcused Absence meeting letter shall be mailed. A counselor, social worker or other appropriate staff shall participate. Educational and legal consequences for nonattendance should be reviewed with the parent. If there is a seventh unexcused absence, the principal (or designee)shall consider legal action on behalf of the student.
Because punctuality and dependability are qualities the schools have a responsibility to develop in students, and out of consideration for the rights of others, tardiness to class is not to be condoned. At the elementary level, teachers will enter student attendance data at the beginning of each school day. Students who arrive after school has begun for the day should report to the office. Student shall be marked tardy by the designated office personnel. Excessive tardiness shall be reported to the school administrator.