School attendance is very important. Every absence from school interferes with your child’s opportunity to learn. There is a growing body of research showing that Chronic Absenteeism, usually defined by researchers as missing 10% or more of the school year (including excused and unexcused absences), has a significant negative effect on student achievement and may put a student at academic risk. The goal for Quail Hollow Elementary is that all students miss no more than 5% of the school year, in an effort to help every student be successful now and in the future.
School Success Goes Hand in Hand with Being in School Every Day! Did You Know?
- Many absences, even in kindergarten, can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing just a day or two every month can make it harder to learn to read by the third grade.
- Students with too many absences struggle to catch up, even with take-home assignments.
- Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves.
What Can You Do?
- Develop a regular bedtime and morning routine.
- Avoid missing school unless a child is truly sick and seek help if chronic illness is a challenge.
- Check with our school nurse or office staff if you are not sure about when to keep your child at home due to illness.
- If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school support staff, or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
2019 - 2020 Attendance Goals
All students will attend school at least 95% of the school year. In order to achieve this goal, students cannot miss more than 8 days of school for the year. All students who achieve this goal will receive an attendance certificate and be entered into a drawing for a new bicycle at the end of the school year. Each student with Perfect Attendance will be recognized at the end of the year.
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.