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EXCESSIVE ABSENTEEISM Absenteeism is considered excessive when it significantly interferes with a student’s learning, as reflected in academic performance or social development. The following is policy. 1. Upon a student’s fourth day of accumulated absence during any semester, a letter will be sent home to notify the parents. This notification will also include an offer of assistance and early intervention to the parents and student. 2. Upon a student’s fifth day of accumulated absence during any semester, a letter will be sent to notify the parents and to request a parental conference. 3. Upon the student’s sixth day of accumulated absence during any semester, a letter will be sent home to the parents requiring medical documentation of physical or mental conditions causing such absence. Failure to do so will result in the student not earning any credit for that semester in that class for which they have more than six absences. More than six absences from a class will result in loss of credit for that class even though the student may or may not have accumulated more that six days of absence. The principal will also offer to hold an intervention meeting with a social worker. This meeting shall be for the purpose of developing a attendance improvement contract as well as gather information about the reasons for the absences. TRUANT POLICY OF MT. OLIVE SCHOOLS Truancy Definitions: Truant: A truant is a child subject to compulsory attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof. Valid cause for absence: A child may be absent from school because of illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, situations beyond the student’s control (as determined by the school board) or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for the safety or health of the student. Examples of absences which are NOT excusable and will result in the student receiving an unexcused absence and a zero in all classes missed due to absences are: truancy, suspension, missing the bus, trips not approved in advance, skipping, hunting, fishing, oversleeping, birthday or other celebration, and gainful employment. Chronic or habitual truant: A chronic or habitual truant is a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 10 percent or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days. Truant Minor: A child to whom supportive services, including prevention, remedial services, alternative programs, and other school and community resources have been provided and this provision had failed to result in the cessation of chronic truancy or to whom they have been offered and refused. Truancy Procedure When the student has been declared truant for the first time, he/she will be placed on Step 1 of our truancy procedure and the parents will be notified of the action by mail. Such a procedure will continue through Steps 2 & 3. The steps in the truancy procedure are as follows: Step 1: Parent-principal contacts (phone, letter, or conference) and zero for all classes missed due to the truancy. (1st unexcused absence) Step 2: Parent-principal conference and zero for all classes missed due to the truancy. (2nd unexcused absence) Step 3: One day in-school suspension, parent-principal conference, and zero for all classes missed due to the suspension and the truancy. (3rd and 4th unexcused absence) With the fifth (5) unexcused absence the first notification will be mailed to the parent/guardian by the school Principal. This letter will notify the parent of the truancy and offer assistance to the family. When the student reaches eight (8) unexcused absences, the principal will then send the second notification to the parent/guardian with the request to attend an “intervention meeting” at the school. At this meeting, the principal and social services liaison will aid the family to develop an attendance improvement contract, as well as gather information about the reasons for the truancy. The social services liaison will offer referrals and other resources as deemed appropriate. The principal and social services liaison will continue to monitor the student’s attendance. If the student reaches ten (10) unexcused absences the school will send a referral to the ROE. The ROE will send the third notification to the parent/guardian informing them that the case is now being referred to the Truancy Review Board. At this point the student and parents/guardians shall refer to page five of the ROE truancy Policy. It is the responsibility of the parents to initiate whatever contact is necessary between themselves and the school authorities as indicated by Step 1 though Step 3 of the truancy procedure. Even though parents may decide not to contact the school, the advancement of the student from Step 1 to Step 3 will continue. The school district will determine if the student is a truant, chronic or habitual truant, or a truant minor. Absences and Academic Credit Excessive unexcused absences, especially when coupled with over 6 days of total absences per semester in the high school, shall mean no class credit unless there is doctor verification regarding the excessive absenteeism.
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