Regular school attendance will aid greatly in promoting the success of students. The educational process requires a continuous sequence of instruction. When broken by a period of absence, this instruc tion can never be fully regained by extra work. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in learning activities under the supervision of a qualified teacher will assist each student in attaining his/her maximum potential. The primary purpose of this attendance policy is to develop a sense of responsibly, to promote punctuality, to develop traits of good citizenship, and to enhance academic success. It is with these purposes in mind that this attendance policy and the implementation procedure described are approved.
GUIDELINES FOR EXCUSING AN ABSENCE
In order for an absence to be excused, the parent/guardian must phone the school, send a note from home, or provide a medical excuse. The parent/guardian must make prior arrangements for absences due to special events or personal business. Absences will be classified as excused, unexcused, or truant depending on the reason for the absence.
1. EXCUSED - A student will be excused for the following reasons:
- Personal illness
- Personal medical or dental appointments. (Medical certificate is requires within one week of absence)
- Serious illness or death in the immediate family.
- Students may be excused for other reasons if the parent makes a request in writing in a timely fashion PRIOR to the requested absence. The school may approve an absence without prior notice if circumstances reasonably prevented the student from having obtained prior permission. Approval will be contingent upon attendance, history and academic standing.
- If a school bus is unable to reach a bus pick-up due to poor road conditions, flooding, or other issues and cannot pick-up a child and the child has no other means where by he/she maybe transported to school; that child's absence will be excused.
2. UNEXCUSED - All other absences from school will be considered unexcused. A student with an unexcused absence will receive no make-up work, receive zero for all missed work,and a zero for classroom participation for the day.
3. TRUANT - A student will be considered truant if he or she is absent from school all or part of a day if:
- The absence is without prior knowledge and consent of either the parent or school.
- A "fictitious" phone call is received by the school excusing the absence.
- A forged note is received excusing an absence.
A student who commits an act of truancy will receive no make-up work and will receive zeros on all missed work.
ACTION THAT MAY BE TAKEN: Request the DFC consider possible reduction of TANF benefits AND/OR the Probation Department may file a juvenile delinquency petition alleging truancy or completes an informal adjustment with family at the request of the prosecutor. AND/OR Request to file an affidavit against the parent/guardian of educational neglect. AND/OR Recommend the student for retention in current grade. AND/OR Request that the Prosecuting Attorney initiates legal action against parent and/or child; court hears case.
- Step 1. (Excessive Excused/Unexcused Absences) Principal sends parent/guardian a certified letter indicating that student has missed 7 days.
- Step 2. (10th Absence or 3 Unexcused Absences) Principal sends parent/guardian a certified letter/certificate of mailing signature card letter that requires him/her to attend a conference with school officials at which time an attendance contract must be signed. The parent and student may meet with a school counselor. Parent/guardian must contact the principal within (3) days of receipt of this letter to arrange a date and time for the meeting. If the parent/guardian fails to arrange and attend a meeting, the student will be placed on attendance probation.
- Step 3. (11th Absence or 4th Unexcused Absence) Parent must provide principal with medical statement for every medical absence. OR Principal may grant excused absence for valid reason at the principal's discretion. ACTIONS THAT MAY BE TAKEN: Request that DFC consider possible reduction of TANF benefits. Request that a police officer investigate and possibly issue written warning, sending a copy to the parent/guardian, Probation Department, superintendent, principal, and Department of Family and Children.
- Step 4. (Next Unexcused Absence) & After Written Warning. School sends a certified letter to parent/guardian requiring him/her to schedule a conference with the principal.
It is very important that you understand that it is your responsibility, as a parent or guardian, to ensure that your child regularly attends school as required by law.
When a student accumulates more than ten unexcused absences, the student will be deemed "habitually truant". This is defined in Indiana State Statue 20-33-2-11(b)(1).
A letter will be delivered in conjunction with and will be part of a criminal investigation that will list you as an "involved person". In the event that your child is absent from school and does not meet the requirements for an excused absence, the case will be formally prepared for prosecution in the Superior Court of Jennings County.
This letter will serve as your only notice that any further unexcused absences during the current school year could result in your arrest and subsequent prosecution for violation of Indiana Code 20-33-2-28. If convicted, you could receive up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000.00.
The investigation will be conducted by the North Vernon Police Department and will not exclude or prevent any separate action taken by the Jennings County School Corporation.