NOTIFICATION BY PARENT OF STUDENT ABSENCES
Whenever a student is absent from school, parents are required, by the Compulsory Attendance Law, to notify their student’s school and provide an excuse for the absence. This is usually done by a written note from the parent or it can be done by a telephone call to the school. This is known in the law as an attendance verification. Attendance verifications must include ALL of the following:
The full name of the student;
The date(s) of absence;
The specific reason for the absence;
The name and relationship of the person providing the information regarding the absence; and,
The date the absence verification was made.
The attendance verification lets the school staff know why the student is/was absent. Once it is received, the school staff determines whether or not the student’s absence can be considered as an excused or unexcused absence when it is recorded in the student’s attendance record. It is important for parents and students to recognize and understand that this is a major requirement of the law. Only district personnel are authorized to determine if an absence is legally excused or unexcused. Parents and students need to clearly understand that writing a note and sending it to school in an attempt to excuse a student’s unexcused absence is illegal, costs the school district money, can lead to serious discipline problems for the student, and serious legal issues for the parent through the District Attorney’s office.
OPTIONS TO VERIFY AN ABSENCE:
When a student is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is truant and shall be reported to the Child Welfare and Attendance Manager assigned to that school. A student who is deemed to be a truant on 3 or more occasions during a school year is considered to be a habitual truant. For example, a student who has accumulated 6 days of unexcused absences or has been tardy or absent by 30 minutes or more on 6 days may be considered a habitual truant. When this occurs the student and the parent may be referred to SARB.