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Student Attendance 3020
State Compulsory Attendance Law Utah State Law requires students between the ages of six and eighteen to be in attendance at school unless they have graduated from high school.

Attendance Impact on Educational Success. The Sevier School District Board of Education recognizes the importance of regular student attendance to a successful learning experience. Research supports the fact that attendance is crucial to improving student achievement. On-time attendance is a critical starting point for high levels of student achievement. The opportunities lost through student absence and tardiness leave learning gaps that are difficult to fill. Parents, students, and school personnel should make decisions that lead to excellent classroom attendance.

School Strategies Schools should employ strategies that encourage on-time attendance through promoting school attendance, building a positive school climate, monitoring attendance, and supporting students and families to address barriers that influence school attendance are all key elements in helping students to improve their attendance and maximize their educational attainment. Schools should also allow teachers to exercise reasonable discretion in determining the relationship between attendance, class participation and successful course outcomes. Interventions usually are reactive but may include (1) incentives & disincentives, (2) efforts to provide supports to promote attendance, and (3) coordinated efforts involving school and community agencies, including juvenile justice. There is a clear need for greater attention to prevention and intervening as early as feasible after attendance problems are noted. There is a need for a comprehensive, multifaceted and integrated approach that weaves together the resources of school and community.
1. Definitions
1.1. Absence: Failure of a student, who is assigned to a class or class period, to attend the entire class or class period.
1.2. Valid Excused Absence:
1.2.1. an illness, which may be either mental or physical, regardless of whether the school-age child or parent provides documentation from a medical professional;
1.2.2. mental or behavior health of the school-age child;
1.2.3. a family death;
1.2.4. an approved school activity;
1.2.5. an absence permitted by a school age minor’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan; or
1.2.6. any other valid excuse approved by the local school board. The Sevier School District Board of Education has approved the following as additional valid excuses: a scheduled family event, which include but are not limited to: family travel, observance of religious holidays, family emergencies
1.2.7. The District or school may not require documentation from a medical professional to substantiate a valid excuse that is a mental or physical illness.
1.3. Unexcused Absence: Any absence without a valid excuse.
1.4. Chronic Absenteeism: A percentage measure of how much school a student misses for any reason, including excused and unexcused absences. Students are considered chronically absent if they miss more than 10% of enrolled school days. Students who are chronically absent may be at-risk for academic failure.

2. The Board further recognizes that:
2.1. All students are expected to be in class and on-time every school day, in every class. Sevier School District will follow state law and federal guidelines as they pertain to attendance.
2.1.1. Sevier School District requirement guidelines are 1015 instructional hours minimum per school year for secondary schools and 998 instructional hours minimum per school year for elementary schools.
2.2. Chronic absenteeism, excused or unexcused absences, frequent absences, and/or tardiness of students from regular classroom learning experiences disrupt the continuity of the instructional process.
2.2.1. Schools will allow students with absences to remain current in their classwork by allowing make-up work in a prompt and timely manner.
2.3. The entire process of education requires a regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences, and study in order to meet student achievement goals.
2.4. Holding students and their parents/guardians responsible for attendance is part of the District’s larger mission to train students to be productive citizens who are college and career ready.
2.5. State law reflects the importance of regular attendance by establishing compulsory school attendance and charging this Board to enforce that law. Ten day rule: By law, any student who does not attend school for ten consecutive days without a legitimate excuse will be dropped from school rolls. The parent will be required to re-enroll their student in school, which could affect students’ choice application, placement in classes and class credit.
2.6. The Board supports social responsibility (citizenship) procedures developed within the schools.
2.7. Truancy is a serious violation of policy and often involves the safety and accountability of the student involved. Behavior interventions/consequences for truancy are found in policies 3072 and 3075.

3. School Responsibilities:
3.1. Each school will keep accurate records of student daily attendance as required by Utah State Law.
3.2. Each school will notify parents/guardians of student chronic absenteeism, unexcused and/or excessive absences. Parent notification may include, but is not limited to one of the following:
3.2.1. Voice mail, email and text systems
3.2.2. Teacher contact
3.2.3. Attendance office calls or tracker calls
3.2.4. Computer-generated letters
3.2.5. Progress reports or student on-line information system
3.2.6. Administrator, counselor, social worker or truancy contact
3.3. Grades and/or credit are not arbitrarily cut because of absences but in all probability will be lower because of the missed classroom instruction and participation which affects academic success in school.
3.4. Each school will develop procedures to address chronic absenteeism, excessive and/or unexcused absences/tardies.
3.4.1. This program may include but is not limited to the following: Teacher notification of parents (attendance concerns, progress report, telephone contact) Student-teacher conference Parent conference Interventions such as but not limited to those found in policy 3075. Support personnel assistance, (i.e. school nurse, counselor, social worker, administrator, care team, district truancy support programs) Detentions and/or In-School Suspension
3.4.2. Administrative suspension
3.4.3. Juvenile court referrals will accept students 17 years old and younger.
3.4.4. Department of Child and Family Services may be notified for parental educational neglect.
4. Teacher Responsibilities:
4.1. Each teacher will be responsible for taking and recording accurate class attendance each period.
4.2. Each teacher will be required to follow the district’s attendance policies.
4.3. Teachers will maximize the use of instructional time for the benefit of student learning and engagement.
4.4. Teachers found to be inconsistent in recording absences will be subject to District policies #2007 and #2225.

5. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities:
5.1. Utah Law under the Compulsory School Attendance subsection places the burden of responsibility for school attendance on the parent.
5.2. Parents have the responsibility to assure their student will be in school and on time
5.3. Parents will notify the school attendance office of each student absence.
5.4. Parents/guardians will make the necessary arrangements if they plan in advance to take a student out of school. Agreements must be made before the absence in their circumstances.
5.5. Parents will be responsible to monitor their child’s attendance either electronically or by contacting the school.

6. Student Responsibilities:
6.1. Students will be expected to be prepared for and to fully participate in classroom lessons.
6.2. Students will assume increasing responsibility for regular and prompt school attendance as they progress through the educational system. A conscientious effort will be made to attend daily.
6.3. Students will adhere to the attendance procedures as defined by each school.
6.4. Students will cooperate with school officials and support personnel to correct any attendance problems that may develop.

Approved: 10/10/18
Revised: 02/09/22