5200.1: Attendance, Tardiness, and Excessive Absenteeism

5200.1: Attendance, Tardiness, and Excessive Absenteeism holly Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:36

I. Attendance. 

A. Attendance Accounting. Attendance accounting shall be accomplished in secondary schools by recording students’ attendance period-by-period, in elementary schools by recording students’ attendance in the morning and afternoon, and in summer school by recording secondary students’ attendance period-by-period and elementary students’ attendance by the hour. 

B. Grounds for Excused Absences. Students will be granted an excused absence from school by the principal or the principal’s designee for the following reasons: 

1. Personal illness (a physician’s verification is required after four (4) consecutive days of absence for illness). 

2. Doctor or dental appointments for the student, which cannot be scheduled at a time other than during school hours. 

3. Death or serious illness of the student’s family member. 

4. Attending a funeral. 

5. Wedding or graduation of the student’s family member. 

6. Legal matters which cannot be arranged at a time other than during school hours. 

7. Observance of religious holidays of the student's own faith. 

8. College planning visits. 

9. Matters involving student safety. 

10. Matters related to military service. 

11. Personal or family vacations not to exceed five (5) days per school year. 

12. Pregnancy and parenting related appointments and/or conditions pursuant to District Rule 5200.3 (I). 

13. The approval of all excused absences may be subject to review by Student Services. 

C. Insufficient Grounds for Excused Absences. Students will be assigned an unexcused absence from school by the principal or the principal’s designee for the following reasons: 

1. Personal recreational activities. 

2. Non-school sponsored activities and athletics (e.g., competitive cheer, club sports, or theater caravans). 

3. Babysitting. 

4. Birthdays. 

5. Work. 

D. Rules Governing Absences. 

1. Individuals who are authorized to submit written excuses for absences are a parent or guardian, the student if age nineteen (19), or the student if emancipated. Written excuses must be provided to the principal or the principal's designee. 

2. The student's parents or guardians must call within the time specified by the school's guidelines and provide the following information: the date(s) and/or time of the absence and the reason for the absence. Failure to call within the required time frame will result in the absence being recorded as unexcused. 

3. The District reserves the right to require verification from a doctor or dentist when an absence is for medical or dental reasons. 

4. A written excuse, which is forged or contains factual misrepresentations, will subject the student to discipline under District Rule and the absence(s) will be recorded as unexcused absences. 

E. Make-up Work for Excused and Unexcused Absences. 

1. Schoolwork missed due to an excused or unexcused absence, must be completed to the satisfaction of each teacher whose class was missed. 

2. Students will have a minimum of one (1) school day for each day of absence, to make up missed schoolwork. Students who do not make up their work within the prescribed time limits will not receive credit for the work missed. 

3. Make-up work may be provided prior to a planned absence if the lessons and assignments have already been planned for and prepared by the teacher in the context of having created the weekly lesson plans. Make-up work provided to a student in advance of their absence does not guarantee that no additional work may need to be completed upon their return to school. Students who do not request missed work in advance will be provided all assigned work when the student returns from an absence. 

4. Providing early or late semester exams is at the discretion of the building principal or the principal’s designee. 

5. During prolonged absence due to illness, the parent may call the school office to make arrangements for picking up the missed work. 

6. When the school administration has given approval for a student to participate in school sponsored programs such as High Ability Learners (HAL) Seminars, music programs, dramatics, or athletics, the student should not be penalized for not being present to take tests and participate in the daily work. The student shall be given an opportunity to make up any work missed. 

II. Tardiness. 

A. Rules. The following rules shall apply to tardiness. 

1. Students tardy to school will not be admitted to class unless the student has the permission of the principal or principal's designee. 

2. Tardies will be excused or unexcused as determined by building principal or the principal’s designee. 

3. Each school shall adopt a set of guidelines to be used to avoid or minimize student tardiness and publish it in their student handbook. 

III. Excessive Absenteeism. 

A. Rules. The following rules shall apply to excessive absenteeism. 

1. At least one (1) attendance officer shall be appointed by the District’s Board who shall enforce the provisions of Nebraska's mandatory attendance laws. If the Superintendent, a principal, a teacher, or a Board member knows of a violation of Nebraska's mandatory attendance laws they shall within three (3) days report such violation to the District’s attendance officer who shall immediately investigate the violation. When of his or her personal knowledge or by report or complaint from any resident of the District, the District’s attendance officer believes that there is a violation of Nebraska’s mandatory attendance laws, the attendance officer shall immediately investigate such violation. 

2. If a student has accumulated eight (8) absences in a school year or the hourly equivalent, the District may render all services to address barriers to attendance. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, the following: 

a. Verbal or written communication by District officials with the person or persons who have legal or actual charge or control of any student. 

b. One or more meetings between, at a minimum, a school attendance officer, a school social worker, or a school administrator or his or her designee, the person who has legal or actual charge or control of the student, and the student, when appropriate, to attempt to address the barriers to attendance. The result of the meeting or meetings shall be to develop a collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance. The plan shall consider, but not be limited to: 

i. Illness related to physical or behavioral health of the student; 

ii. Educational counseling; 

iii. Educational evaluation; and 

iv. Referral to community agencies for economic services, family or individual counseling, or assisting the family in working with other community services. 

v. Prevention and early intervention procedures, service coordination, cooperative efforts, and information sharing, in accordance with the Superintendent’s Plan pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-2121. 

3. Absences due to pregnancy, or pregnancy related conditions, or care for an ill child, do not count towards the excessive absenteeism accumulated absences in a school year or the hourly equivalent. 

B. Notification. 

1. If a student has accumulated eight (8) absences in a school year or the hourly equivalent, the District will send written notice to the student’s parents or guardians regarding the State mandatory attendance and excessive absenteeism laws. If any of the absences are due to illness, the notice to the student’s parents or guardian shall indicate the number of absences due to such. 

2. If a student has accumulated fifteen (15) absences in a school year or the hourly equivalent, the District will send written notice to the student’s parents or guardians regarding the State mandatory attendance and excessive absenteeism laws. If any of the absences are due to illness, the notice to the student’s parents or guardians shall indicate the number of absences due to such. 

3. If a student is absent more than twenty (20) days in a school year or the hourly equivalent, the attendance officer may file a report with the county attorney of the county in which the student resides. The District shall notify the student’s family in writing prior to referring the student to the county attorney. The report shall state that the District has made the efforts required by Section III(A)(2) of this Rule and that the collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance has not been successful and the District recommends county attorney intervention. The report shall include the student's and parents’ names, address, number of excused and unexcused absences, number of absences due to illness documentation that the District has made the efforts required by Section III(A)(2) of this Rule, and copies of all other relevant information regarding the student’s attendance and excessive absenteeism. 

4. If a student has a history of being chronically absent from school, the District shall render any and all services in the District’s power to compel the student to attend school. 

C. Students on Probation. If a student on probation who has previously been expelled from the District is attending school pursuant to Nebraska law governing students on probation, prior to the re-admission of the student to the school, school officials shall meet with the student's probation officer and assist in developing conditions of probation that will provide specific guidelines for behavior and consequences for misbehavior at school as well as educational objectives that must be achieved. The school may expel such a student for subsequent actions which violate District Rule 5400.6. Such a student shall be screened by the District for possible disabilities and, if the screening so indicates, the student shall be referred for evaluation for possible placement in a District special education program. 

IV. Students Exempt from the Mandatory Attendance Laws. Students who are exempt from the mandatory attendance laws are: 

A. Students who have obtained a high school diploma; 

B. Students who have completed the program of instruction offered by a school which elects pursuant to state law not to meet accreditation or approval requirements; 

C. Students who have reached eighteen (18) years of age; 

D. Students who have reached sixteen (16) years of age, but are not yet eighteen (18) years of age, and whose withdrawal from school before graduation and exemption from the mandatory attendance requirements has been completed in accordance with state law and District Rule 5120.2. 

E. Students who will reach six (6) years of age prior to January 1 of the then current school year, and their parent or guardian has discontinued enrollment in accordance with District Rule 5100.2(III)(A); and 

F. Students who will not reach six (6) years of age prior to January 1 of the then current school year, and their parent or guardian has discontinued enrollment in accordance with District Rule 5100.2(III)(B). 

V. Student Discipline. Students who violate the provisions of this Rule, or the District’s Standards for Student Conduct, or the guidelines of the building principal or principal's designee, may be subject to student discipline. Students who have excessive absences or tardies may also be subject to student discipline. 

VI. Definitions. 

A. "Emancipated student" shall mean any student, under the age of nineteen (19), who is either married, or is enlisted in the military service, or unmarried and has voluntarily left home without financial support from the student's parent(s), or the student has been declared emancipated by a court of law and the conditions leading to that declaration remain unchanged. 

B. “Excessive absences” shall mean eight (8) or more absences from school in a school year or the hourly equivalent. 

Date of Revision
July 20, 1987
September 19, 1994
September 8, 1998
September 11, 2000
June 20, 2005
February 16, 2009
April 18, 2011
August 15, 2011
December 5, 2011
July 2, 2012
December 17, 2012
May 19, 2014
May 21, 2018