It is the policy of Soldier Hollow Charter School to promote regular attendance. All students are expected to be in class on time every school day, in every class.
- Absences will cause students to lose significant instruction and learning.
- Students (K-8) may risk the denial of grade promotion if their attendance is less than 90% (approximately five days per nine-week period.)
- If a student is absent for any reason, including school activities, he or she is expected to complete make-up work assigned by the teacher.
Utah Compulsory Attendance laws (Section 53A-11-101.5) require a parent or guardian to insure the on-time attendance of their children on a regular, uninterrupted basis. The Soldier Hollow Charter School Board of Education supports this attendance policy in order to:
- Increase daily student attendance
- Encourage students to be academically current in classes
- Develop student responsibility
- Increase parental involvement in student attendance
- Increase likelihood of student academic success
- Maintain a safe and orderly learning environment
- Prepare students for attendance expectations in their future careers
- Excused absence means a student is absent from school for a reason identified by the school district as legitimate, valid and reasonable such as:
-Family emergencies as interpreted by administrator or designee
-Death of family member or close friend
-Other circumstances, such as family activities or travel, that in the judgment of the principal constitutes a justifiable absence from school and for which arrangements have been made with the principal in writing in advance of the activity
-Unexcused absence means a student is absent from school for reasons other than those authorized under this or an individual school’s policy and defined as:
- For grades 7-8, a student’s non-attendance that exceeds ten minutes of instructional time.
- For grades K-6, a student’s non-attendance from a significant portion of core instructional time.
- Extenuating circumstances regarding attendance will be considered on a case by case basis by prior approval with a school administrator or designee
- Truant is any school-aged minor who is absent from school without a legitimate or valid excuse (i.e. excused absence)
-Habitual truant means a school-aged minor who has received more than two notifications within one school year from the school in which the minor is or should be enrolled and/or five absences without a legitimate or valid excuse or who, in defiance of the efforts on part of the school authorities to resolve a student’s attendance problem as required under Section 53A-11-101.5 refuses to regularly attend school or any scheduled period of the day.
ATTENDANCE PRINCIPLES and GUIDELINES:
- School administrators should encourage parents or guardian to comply with Utah attendance laws to ensure regular student attendance and punctuality
- Make reasonable attempts to notify a parent or guardian of student absences
- Make reasonable accommodations for individuals as per Section 504 of the American with Disability Act (ADA) or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Establish clear procedures to implement this policy
- Inform parents, teachers, and students of the attendance policy. Annual notification of the school attendance policies shall be provided to the parent/guardian(s) of all students at the time of registration
- Following six excused absences in a week period, the administrator or the individual designated by the school shall contact the parent(s) and arrange for a meeting to discuss the student’s attendance.
- In the event of truancy, the school will proceed from parent notification to a parent conference, to explore alternatives based on the truancy policy
- Set a proper example of promptness and regular attendance
- Encourage student attendance through teaching methods which motivate student involvement and participation in the learning process
- Support and administer the district and school attendance policy, including informing students of that policy
- Expect students to attend school every day and arrive promptly and will initiate measures to correct attendance problems
- Teachers will be required to give students who are absent with a valid excuse an opportunity to make up class work missed. Teachers must take care to be precise in assigning the work to be made up, as well as setting any time deadlines. (Make up work for an unexcused absent is at the teacher’s discretion.)
- Individual teachers will develop grading and credit guidelines that reward class participation and academic achievement.
- Utah law requires parents to ensure the attendance of their children in school; parents have the responsibility to ensure the student attends school regularly and is on time
- Notify the school prior to or within 48 hours of the absence, with the understanding that notification does not necessarily mean the absence will be excused
- Respect the classroom and the teacher by requesting make-up work in a timely manner, giving teachers adequate notice and time to provide that work
- Students have the responsibility to attend school regularly and be on time
- Students who have an excused absence will be responsible to make up class work that can be made up within the specified time limits
- When a student is tardy for class, it is his or her responsibility to immediately contact the teacher so that the absence will not be assessed.
- When a student must leave school during the day for any reason, he or she must contact the office before doing so.
Procedures toward the designation of Habitual Truant Status
- Prior to or no later than school registration, the parent(s) of all students in grades K -8 shall be provided written notice from the school or district informing parents of Compulsory Education attendance laws and encouraging parental cooperation.
- Following two (2) unexcused absences in a six week period, the school designee shall notify the parent(s)/student as to the importance of school attendance and the legal implications of truancy. Documentation of the date, time, and method of communication shall be kept.
- The school shall continue to monitor school attendance following the first truancy notification. If appropriate, the student’s curriculum or schedule may be adjusted.
- Following three (3) additional unexcused absences, the school designee shall notify the parent(s) and request a meeting at the school or elsewhere to discuss the student’s attendance problem. Documentation of the date, time, and location of the meeting shall be kept.
- Following the tenth (10) unexcused absence, a certified letter shall be sent requesting again the support of the parent/guardian(s) in resolving the attendance problems and outlining Utah State Law 53A-11-103. A copy of the letter and mailing certificate must be kept by the school.
- Prior to the referral to the County Attorney, in a final attempt to prevent habitual truancy, the school or district shall schedule a pre-referral hearing meeting. At that meeting, school personnel shall present final alternatives to referral.
- Following the next unexcused absence, the parent/student shall be notified that the student is a habitual truant. Referral to the appropriate County or District Attorney consistent with Section 53A-11-104(6) shall be made by the individual designated by the school/district.
- A referral shall include a recommended disposition containing the following:
-Documentation of attendance and academic achievement
-Documentation of school efforts to improve attendance
-Copies of notifications; and
-Student background as requested by the County Attorney.