Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education—to benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning on the previous day’s learning, and to grow as an individual. Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a student’s mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the student and parent should avoid unnecessary absences. Two state laws one dealing with the required presence of school-aged children in school, e.g., compulsory attendance, the other with how a child’s attendance affects the award of a student’s final grade or course credit—are of special interest to students and parents.
PreKindergarten & Kindergarten
Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergartens are required to attend school and are subject to the compulsory attendance requirements as long as they remain enrolled.
Ages 6 & 18
State law requires that a student who is at least six years of age, or who is younger than six years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached their 19th birthday, shall attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.
Age 19 & Older
A student who voluntarily attend so renrolls after his or her 19th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year. If a student age 19 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester, the district may revoke the student’s enrollment. The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing. [See Board policy FEA.]
Compulsory Attendance Exemptions
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work. These include the following activities and events:
- Religious holy days;
- Required court appearances;
- Activities related to obtaining U.S. citizenship;
- Documented healthcare appointments for the student or a child of the student, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, if the student comes to school or returns to school on the same day as the appointment. A note from the healthcare provider must be submitted upon the student’s arrival or return to campus
- Absences resulting from a serious or life-threatening illness or related treatment that makes a student’s attendance infeasible, with certification by a physician;
- For students in the conservatorship (custody) of the state;
- An activity required under a court-ordered service plan; or
- Any other court-ordered activity provided it is not practicable to schedule the student’s participation in the activity outside of school hours.