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Attendance Policy

Good attendance is essential if students are to achieve success and reach their potential. The State of Indiana places education at the top of its priorities. The faculty, staff, and administration believe the following about the importance of regular attendance at Selma Elementary School:

  1. Regular school attendance is a valuable characteristic to help develop responsibility in students.
  2. Legitimate reasons do exist for students to miss school but should be rare.
  3. When a student is not in attendance, school does go on and the student falls behind.
  4. It is legitimate and proper for the school to set limits on absences from school. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate participation grades into their classes that include attendance. This helps hold students accountable for attending school.
  5. Tardiness to school and/or missing part of a school day negatively affects student performance. This will be recorded and will accumulate toward a student’s absence limits. Coming to school 10 minutes late or leaving 10 minutes early from class every day adds up to 60 hours of missed instruction, which is like missing almost 2 weeks of school.
  6. Parents should keep in mind that we only have 1,260 hours of instruction in a school year. A child that misses 10 days of school is missing 70 of these critical hours. It is difficult to get back lost days of instruction. This can potentially cause a student to fall behind.

Attendance Procedures for Parents and Students

All student absences need to be reported to the school office by parents or guardians by 10:00 a.m. on the day of the absence in order to state the nature of the absence. Absences will be EXCUSED if the school is notified before 10:00 a.m. and the nature of the absence qualifies as an excused absence as listed below. If the parent or guardian does not contact the school that day or calls after 10:00 a.m., it will be considered an UNEXCUSED absence. If the parent does not call, the school will contact the parent that day through our automated system. Communication with the school for absences is important to ensure that students are not truant from school. Truancy is being absent from school without the knowledge or consent of the parent/guardian and school officials. If no phone is available at the home, a letter from the parent or guardian stating a lack of phone may be filed with the school principal. Those students may then be excused with a note on the day following the student absence.

Excused Absences

A student will be allowed a maximum of EIGHT parent/guardian excused absences per semester. Personal illness that is excused by a written note from a physician will not be counted toward the eight parent/guardian excused absences. After the maximum of eight parent/guardian excused absences, all following absences that semester will be counted as unexcused without documentation. The following circumstances are considered excused absences:

  • Personal illness (verified by a parent by 10:00 a.m. or a doctor within 2 days of the student’s return to school)
  • Illness that requires the school nurse or administration to send a student home for the day (exception is head lice after the first day)
  • Death or serious illness of an immediate family member
  • Funeral if school is notified in advance
  • Student medical, dental, legal appointments or court hearings. (Every effort should be made to schedule medical, dental, or other appointments outside of school hours.)
  • Religious observance when approved in advance.
  • Head lice (first day only)
  • Suspensions from school
  • Other reasons excused by the administration

Unexcused Absences

  • Any absence without medical documentation after the maximum of eight parent/guardian excused absences per semester
  • Vacations during school time are unexcused. Parents/guardians are advised to plan family activities when school is not in session.
  • Truancy
  • Any absence not reported to the school office by parent/guardians by 10:00 a.m. on the day of the absence
  • Head lice after the first day
  • Absences due to missing the bus, oversleeping, alarm clock malfunctions, car trouble, etc. that cause the student to arrive at school after 8:45 a.m.
  • Other reasons not noted as excused

Tardies

The school day begins at 8:15 a.m. and students are expected to be in their classrooms at this time. Any student entering the building after 8:15 a.m. and up until 8:45 a.m. will be considered TARDY. The parent/guardian must sign the student in at the office when they arrive after 8:15 a.m. Five tardies will equal one day of unexcused absence. Students who arrive between 8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. will be considered to have a ½ day absence. Students who arrive to school after 11:30 a.m. will be considered to have a full day absence. Any student who accumulates ten (10) tardies per semester may be referred to DCS, Department of Child Services, for possible educational neglect. Every tardy, after the tenth, may result in another referral to DCS. Students with excessive tardies may also be required to serve detention to complete work they miss.

Early Release

Students who need to leave school between 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. will be granted an Early Release. A parent or guardian must sign the student out in the office. Once a student has accumulated five Early Releases, it automatically becomes a full day unexcused absence. Students who leave school between 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. will be counted as being half day absent.

Release Time

During the school day, there is a 2.5 hour block of time that may be used for a medical appointment. Proof of an appointment must be provided upon the student’s return to school. There is no penalty toward a student’s attendance for release time.

Makeup Work

Students may make up academic assignments missed in class due to an absence. It is the student’s responsibility to make up the missed assignments. As a rule, the absent student will have the same number of days to make up missed assignments as the length of the absence. If the missing assignments are not completed in the appropriate number of days, they can be counted as zeros. During out of school suspensions, students are still expected to complete any homework assignments missed during their suspension. In order to receive credit, assignments must be turned in within a reasonable amount of time as communicated by the teacher. Suspended students will also be permitted to make up tests, quizzes, and major projects. The student will initiate the need to make up the homework, test, quiz, and/or major project. In most cases, the test, quiz, and/or major project will be made up the day the student returns.If an eLearning day is called on the day of a student’s suspension, that will not count as one of the student’s suspended days. The next day we are in school will count as their suspension day.

Attendance for Extra-Curricular Activities

Students must be in attendance on the day of an extracurricular activity. If the student goes home ill from school, he/she is ineligible to attend or participate in any events scheduled that day. Students are not permitted to be on school property or attend any school related activities during the days that they are serving an out of school suspension.

Compulsory Attendance

Parents/guardians are ultimately responsible for their child’s school attendance. It is unlawful for a parent to fail, neglect, or refuse to send his/her child to a public school for the full term as required under this chapter unless the child is being provided with instruction equivalent to that given in public schools. This section does not apply during any period when the child is excused from attendance under this chapter. Penalty: A person who knowingly violates this chapter commits a Class B Misdemeanor. Reference: Indiana Code 20-8.1-3-34 and 20-8.1-3-37.

Excessive Absences

  • A maximum of eight (8) days will be excused per semester by the parent/guardian. After that, all days will be unexcused unless appropriate documentation is provided within 2 days of the student’s return to school.
  • All absences will be excused when medical documentation is given within 2 days of return to school.
  • Parents will be notified by letter after 3 or more unexcused absences per semester. Reporting periods will be at midterm and end of each grading period.
  • Parents will be notified and the student will be placed on an Attendance Contract for that semester after six (6) or more unexcused absences per semester.
  • A total of five (5) tardies will be considered a 1-day unexcused absence
  • A total of ten (10) tardies may result in a report to DCS.
  • Consequences of excessive unexcused absences of 10 or more days per semester:
    • Meeting may be scheduled with parents and administration
    • Truant and Educational Neglect papers will be filled with DCS, Department of Child Services (Once a report is made, the agency - not Selma Elementary - will determine consequences.)