Policy JBD Student Absences and Excuses states:
The board believes that attendance is a key factor in student achievement. Any absence from school represents an educational loss to the student. However, the board recognizes that some absences are unavoidable.
In order to receive credit in the lower grades, students must attend 170 days in order to be promoted to the next grade. A student in elementary and middle school must be in attendance at least one-half of the day (elementary 11:00; middle school 12:00) to be counted as “present”. The board of trustees empowers the school principal to grant approval of excessive absences in accordance with state and local board policy. Excessive absences are defined as the number of days that would prevent a student from receiving credit for a course or being promoted to the next grade.
If a student in grades K-8 goes beyond the ten days of absences, the principal will make the decision on the student’s promotion or retention based on the student’s academic achievement, attendance history, and any other pertinent student records.
Any student in grades K-12 who misses school must present a written excuse signed by his/her parent or legal guardian. The school administration will keep all excuses confidential. If a student fails to bring a valid excuse to school, he/she will automatically receive an unlawful absence.
The district will consider students lawfully absent if:
- They are ill and their attendance at school would endanger their health or the health of others. Students with a temperature of 100⁰ or higher are asked to stay home. Students may return to school after they’ve been “fever free” for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
- There is a death or serious illness in the immediate family.
- There is a recognized religious holiday of their faith.
- Prearranged absences for other reasons and/or extreme hardships at the discretion of the principal. Principal approval for pre-arranged absences will take into account the number of other lawful or unlawful absences on the student’s record for that school year as well as the reason for the impending absence.
The district will consider students unlawfully absent if:
- They are willfully absent from school without the knowledge of their parents (ex. Skipping school).
- They are absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of their parents (ex. Oversleeping, missing the bus, vacation).
If a student accrues three unlawful absences in a row or five total unlawful absences within a school year, the student is considered truant, the school will initiate an “attendance intervention plan” to determine the reason for the absences and solutions to improve attendance. If attendance is not improved the parent may face court intervention and a referral to the Department of Social Services.