Attendance and Truancy

Attendance Policy

The LKSD Board of Education, in the “Students’ Rights and Responsibilities” policy states that students have the responsibility to attend school and classes regularly on time throughout the school year.  Regular class attendance helps students develop healthy habits for the future and helps them to be more academically and socially successful.  Failure to attend class greatly reduces the effectiveness of the educational program and creates problems for the teachers and other students.

Attendance Standards:

  1. Tardiness refers to unexcused late arrivals to class.
  2. Absences are classified as excused or unexcused based on LKSD policy.  
  3. For students to achieve as much as possible at school, the goal is to be present at least 95% of the school days. This means students will have 9 (or less) absences in a school year to be considered satisfactory in attendance.
  4. Students who miss 17 or more (or 10% or more) of the days in a school year are considered chronic absentees. Chronic absenteeism is associated with poor outcomes in later in life. The best outcomes for children start with regular school attendance.

Attendance Reporting Procedures:

  1. Students who have a planned absence (moose hunting, family trip etc.) must notify the principal. An absence of longer than 3 days should be pre-arranged at least one week prior to absence.  Failure to follow this procedure may result in absence being unexcused.
  2. Guardians of students who are unexpectedly absent from school (such as with illness) must notify the school of the reason for absence. Parents or guardians are encouraged to call on the morning of the absence instead of sending a note with the student on the return day. Students absent due to illness for more than three (3) consecutive days are required to bring in a note from a medical provider in order for the absences to be excused. (LKSD Board policy)

    Unless the procedure is followed, the absence(s) will automatically be considered unexcused. 

  3. Students are to report to the office for a tardy slip when they arrive after 8:35am.  

CLASSIFICATION OF ABSENCES

Excused Absences:

Reasons for excused absences are: illness of student, death in the family, medical appointments, and other emergencies to be approved by the school.  

Pre-Arranged Excused Absences:

Local subsistence & religious activities, and other absences of educational value shall be presented to the principal for approval as an excused absence.  An absence of longer than three (3) days should be pre-arranged at least one week prior.  

Unexcused Absences:

Unexcused absences shall refer to any unauthorized absence from class. Parents/Guardians will be notified either by phone or letter. Unexcused absences are violations of ME School and LKSD policies and can lead to truancy procedures. A Parent/Guardian signs a copy of the LKSD policies about ABSENCES AND EXCUSES and TRUANCY definitions and procedures at the time of enrollment at ME School. A copy of this signed document is available to Parents/Guardians upon request.

Tardiness

Students in kindergarten through 6th  grade that come late to school within the first 59 minutes of the start of morning and afternoon classes are considered tardy. Being late more than 60 minutes in either morning (1/2 day) or afternoon (1/2 day) class sessions will be considered an absence.

TRUANCY 

Unless a child subject to compulsory attendance laws is exempted, excluded or expelled from school attendance, each five days of unlawful absence constitutes a separate violation of state law.  (A.S. 14.30.010)

The parents/guardians shall be notified of any unexcused absence of their child and informed of state compulsory attendance laws.

TRUANCY PROCEDURES (Site):

Step 1 Attendance Alert:   (information and notification process)

When a student accumulates 1-3 Unexcused Absences (or the equivalent) the student will be placed on Step 1 Attendance Alert. Parents will be contacted in person, in writing, and/or by phone to review the school, district, and state attendance expectations and policies.

Step 2 Attendance Alert:   (communication and problem-solving process)

When a student accumulates 3-5 Unexcused Absences (or the equivalent) the student will be placed on Step 2 Attendance Alert. A parent meeting is required at which time the policies and procedures will be reviewed. A Parent Contract will be developed which will delineate appropriate interventions and subsequent consequences for further Unexcused Absences.  The site social worker will be notified. A copy of the Parent Contract will be sent to the District Safety Coordinator.

Step 3 Attendance Alert:    (intervention process)

When a student violates the agreement in the Parent Contract, the student will be placed on Step 3 Attendance Alert. Interventions and consequences delineated in the Parent Contract will be initiated.

TRUANCY PROCEDURES (District Office):

When a child of school age  (7-16 years of age) accumulates 5 Unexcused Absences* after the execution of the Parent Contract, the District Safety Coordinator will file a truancy citation with the District Court. Additional citations will be filed for each subsequent 5 Unexcused Absences*. In addition to notifying the parents of the student, the Safety Coordinator will notify the Site Administrator, Lead Social Worker, and, if the child has an IEP, the Director of Special Education. The District Safety Coordinator will incorporate site records of parent contacts, interventions attempted, and other appropriate documentation into the truancy citation. 

*For truancy purposes, an Unexcused Absence is defined as a full-day unauthorized absence. 

The Administration will establish a five-member truancy committee consisting of the superintendent, or designee, school safety coordinator, assistant superintendent for personnel and student services, lead social worker, and director of special education. The truancy committee will review truancy cases at the end of each quarter. (Revised 10/12/12)

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