TO REPORT A STUDENT ABSENCE, PLEASE CALL 715-682-7827 EXT. 1004 OR EMAIL LSTURGAL@SDAK12.NET.
5200 - ATTENDANCE
State law requires the Board to enforce the regular attendance of students. Further, the Board recognizes that the District's 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.
All children between six (6) and eighteen (18) years of age shall attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the school in which the child is enrolled is in session until the end of the term, quarter, or semester of the school year in which the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age, unless they fall under an exception under State law, this policy, or administrative guideline issued under this policy. A child who is enrolled in five (5) year-old kindergarten shall attend school regularly, religious holidays excepted, during the full period and hours that kindergarten is in session until the end of the school term.
Parent Notification of Absence Required
The District Administrator shall require, from the parent or guardian of each student or from an adult student, who has been absent for any reason a written or verbal statement stating the reason for the absence and the time period covered by the absence. The Board reserves the right to verify such statements and to investigate the cause of each:
absence of more than five (5) days duration; or
repeated unexplained absence and tardiness.
School Attendance Officer
The District Administrator shall designate an administrator at each school to be the School Attendance Officer. The School Attendance Officer shall perform any duties and responsibilities s/he is required to perform by State law, this policy, and any administrative guidelines issued by the school. The duties of the School Attendance Officer shall include, but not be limited to, the following.
Determining daily from attendance reports submitted by teachers which students enrolled in the school are absent from school and whether the absence is excused.
Submitting to the District Administrator, on or before August 1st of each year, a report of the number of students enrolled in the school who were absent in the previous year and whether the absences were excused. The District Administrator shall then submit this information to the State Superintendent.
Providing student attendance information to individuals and agencies for purposes authorized by State law and the Board's Policy 8330 - Student Records.
As required under State law, a student shall be excused from school for the following reasons:
- Physical or Mental Condition
The student is temporarily not in proper physical or mental condition to attend a school program. Any student seemingly in good health from both a physical and mental standpoint, is presumed to need no more than ten (10) days of excused absence under this paragraph per year. After that ten (10) day maximum has been reached, no additional excused absences for mental and/or physical reasons shall be granted unless a licensed physician, dentist, chiropractor, optometrist, psychologist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, certified advanced practice nurse prescriber or Christian Science practitioner living and residing in this state, who is listed in the Christian Science Journal as such, provides a written statement attesting to the need to excuse the student from school attendance due to the physical or mental condition of that student which, in turn, shall not only be in writing, but also shall state the time period for which the excuse is valid, not to exceed thirty (30) days. The foregoing written excuse requirement may be waived, on a case-by-case basis, but only in those instances where the need for additional excused absences beyond the ten (10) day limit should be readily apparent to any reasonable person.
- Obtaining Religious Instruction
To enable the student to obtain religious instruction outside the school during the required school period. (see Policy 5223 - Absences for Religious Instruction)
- Permission of Parent or Guardian
The student has been excused by his/her parent or guardian, in writing, before the absence for any or no reason. A student may not be excused for more than ten (10) days per school year under this paragraph and must complete any course work missed during the absence. Examples of reasons for being absent that should be counted under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, the following:
- professional and other necessary appointments (e.g., medical, dental, and legal) that cannot be scheduled outside of the school day
- to attend the funeral of a relative
- legal proceedings that require the student's presence
- college visit
- job fairs
- professional and other necessary appointments (e.g., medical, dental, and legal) that cannot be scheduled outside of the school day
- Religious/Cultural Event
For observance of a religious or cultural event consistent with the student's creed or belief.
- Suspension or Expulsion
The student has been suspended or expelled.
- Program or Curriculum Modification
The Board has excused the student from regular school attendance to participate in a program or curriculum modification leading to high school graduation or a high school equivalency diploma as provided by State law.
- High School Equivalency – Secured Facilities
The Board has excused a student from regular school attendance to participate in a program leading to a high school equivalency diploma in a secured correctional facility, a secured child caring institution, a secure detention facility, or a juvenile portion of a county jail, and the student and his/her parent or guardian agree that the student will continue to participate in such a program.
- Child at Risk
The student is a "child at risk" as defined under State law and is participating in a program at a technical college on either a part-time or full-time basis leading to high school graduation, as provided under State law.
- Election Day Official
A high school student age sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) is permitted to be excused to serve as an election official provided that the following criteria are met: 1) the student has the permission of his/her parent to serve as an election official on election day; 2) the student has signed up and the municipal clerk has informed the principal that the student has been assigned to serve in this capacity; and 3) the student has at least a 3.0 grade point average or equivalent, or has met alternative criteria established by Board, if any. The principal shall promptly notify the municipal clerk or the board of election commissioners of the municipality that appointed the child as an election official if the child no longer has at least a 3.0 grade point average or the equivalent, or no longer meets the established alternative requirements. A student's absence to serve as an election official under this policy shall be treated as an excused absence. Where possible students are encouraged to provide advance notice as much as possible. Students are responsible for completing any missed school work and responsible for making appropriate arrangements to do so.
In addition to the above descriptions, a student may be excused from school, as determined by the School Attendance Officer or his/her designee.
Quarantine of the student's home by a public health officer.
- Illness of an Immediate Family Member
The illness of an immediate family member.
An emergency that requires the student to be absent because of familial responsibilities or other appropriate reasons.
- Work at Home Due to Absence of Parents
To work at home due to the absence of the student's parents. Absences under this section will not be granted to any student younger than twelve (12) years of age. Absence must be pre-approved and may be limited by the attendance office.
Unexcused absences demonstrate a deliberate disregard for the educational program and are considered a serious matter. The District Administrator shall develop administrative guidelines to address unexcused absences.
Late Arrival and Early Dismissal
It is necessary that a student be in attendance throughout the school day in order to benefit fully from the educational program of the District.
The Board recognizes, however, that from time-to-time compelling circumstances require that a student be late to school or dismissed before the end of the school day.
As agent responsible for the education of the children of this District, the Board shall require that the school be notified in advance of such absences by written (including e-mail) or verbal (phone or face-to-face) request of the student's parent, who shall state the reason for the tardiness or early dismissal. Justifiable reasons shall be determined by the attendance officer.
No student who has a medical disability which may be incapacitating may be released without a person to accompany him/her.
No student shall be released to anyone who is not authorized such custody by the parents.
The Board will issue a Truancy Plan based upon the recommendations of the County Truancy Committee convened under State law, the Board's policies and procedures, and applicable provisions of State law. The Board will review and, if appropriate, revise the Truancy Plan at least once every two (2) years.
The Truancy Plan will include, at a minimum, the following:
procedures to be followed for notifying the parents or guardians of the unexcused absences of a student who is truant or a habitual truant and for meeting and conferring with such parents or guardians
plans and procedures for identifying truant children of all ages and returning them to school, including the identity of school personnel to whom a truant child shall be returned
methods to increase and maintain public awareness of and involvement in responding to truancy within the school district
a provision addressing the immediate response to be made by school personnel when a truant child is returned to school
the types of truancy cases to be referred to the District Attorney and the time periods within which the District Attorney will respond to and take action on the referrals
plans and procedures to coordinate the responses to the problems of habitual truants, as defined under Sec. 118.16(1)(a), Wis. Stats., with public and private social services agencies
methods to involve the truant child's parent or guardian in dealing with and solving the child's truancy problem
A student will be considered truant if s/he is absent part or all of one (1) or more days from school during which the School Attendance Officer, principal, or a teacher has not been notified of the legal cause of such absence by the parent or guardian of the absent student. A student who is absent intermittently for the purpose of defeating the intent of the Wisconsin Compulsory Attendance Statute Sec. 118.15, Wis. Stats., will also be considered truant.
A student will be considered a habitual truant if s/he is absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part or all of five (5) or more days on which school is held during a school semester.
Notice of Truancy
The School Attendance Officer shall notify a truant student's parent or guardian of the student's truancy and direct the parent or guardian to return the student to school no later than the next day on which school is in session or to provide an excuse for the absence. The notice under this paragraph shall be given before the end of the second school day after receiving a report of an unexcused absence. The notice may be made by personal contact, telephone call, or 1st class mail, and a written record of this notice shall be kept. The School Attendance Officer shall attempt to give notice by personal contact, telephone call, or if the parent has refused to receive electronic communication, notice by 1st class mail may be given.
Notice of Habitual Truancy
When a student initially becomes a habitual truant, the School Attendance Officer shall provide a notice to the student's parent or guardian, by registered or certified mail, or by 1st class mail. The School Attendance Officer may simultaneously notify the parent of the habitually truant student by an electronic communication. The notice must contain the following:
a statement of the parent's or guardian's responsibility under State law to cause the student to attend school regularly
a statement that the parent, guardian, or student may request program or curriculum modifications for the student under State law and that the student may be eligible for enrollment in a program for children at risk
a request that the parent or guardian meet with the appropriate school personnel to discuss the student's truancy
The notice shall include the name of the school personnel with whom the parent or guardian should meet, a date, time, and place for the meeting and the name, address, and telephone number of a person to contact to arrange a different date, time, or place. The date for the meeting shall be within five (5) school days after the date that the notice is sent, except that with the consent of the student's parent or guardian the date for the meeting may be extended for an additional five (5) school days.
a statement of the penalties, under State law or local ordinances that may be imposed on the parent or guardian if s/he fails to cause the child to attend school regularly as required by State law
The School Attendance Officer will also continue to notify the parent or guardian of a habitual truant's subsequent unexcused absences.
Referral to the District Attorney
Truancy cases will be referred to the District Attorney as provided in the County Truancy Committee Plan. The School Attendance Officer will ensure that appropriate school personnel have done the following before any case is referred to the District Attorney:
met with the student's parent or guardian to discuss the student's truancy or attempted to meet with the student's parent or guardian and received no response or were refused
provided an opportunity for educational counseling to the student to determine whether a change in the student's curriculum would resolve the student's truancy and have curriculum modifications under State law
evaluated the student to determine whether learning problems may be a cause of the student's truancy and, if so, have taken steps to overcome the learning problems, except that the student need not be evaluated if tests administered to the student within the previous year indicate that the student is performing at his/her grade level
conducted an evaluation to determine whether social problems may be a cause of the student's truancy and, if so, have taken appropriate action or made appropriate referrals
Note that paragraph A. is not required if the meeting between school personnel, the student, and the student's parent or guardian, which was requested in the Notice of Habitual Truancy to the parent or guardian, did not occur within ten (10) school days after the Notice was sent. Paragraphs B., C., and D. are not required if appropriate school personnel were unable to carry out the activity due to the student's absences from school.
Make-up Course Work and Examinations
A student whose absence from school was excused, except for an expelled student, shall be permitted to make-up course work and any quarterly, semester, or grading period examinations missed during the absences when they return to school. It is the student's responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what course work and examinations must be made-up. Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute course work and examinations. Teachers shall also have the discretion to specify where and when examinations and course work shall be completed, including outside regular school hours. The time for completing the work shall be commensurate with the length of the absence, unless extended by the principal based upon extenuating circumstances.
Credit in a course or subject shall not be denied solely because of a student's unexcused absences from school.
Students with unexcused absences shall be permitted to make-up course work and any quarterly, semester, or grading period examinations missed during the absence if the student is at risk of receiving no credit in a course or subject if the work is not made up.
Subject to the immediately preceding two (2) paragraphs, credit may, but is not required to be given for the completion of make-up work. Further, credit for make-up work may be given only after the student has satisfied consequences imposed for unexcused absences. The extent to which make-up credit is given shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the principal and the respective teachers.
If make-up work has been assigned, it is the student's responsibility to contact his/her teachers to determine what course work and examinations must be made-up. Teachers shall have the discretion to assign substitute course work and examinations. Teachers shall also have the discretion to specify where and when examinations and course work shall be completed, including outside regular school hours. The time for completing the work shall be commensurate with the length of the absence, unless extended by the principal based upon extenuating circumstances.
District Administrator Guidelines
The District Administrator shall develop administrative guidelines concerning the attendance of students.