Approved August 17, 2020
The school district believes regular attendance to be an essential element in the student's educational process. Regular, punctual attendance fosters a climate conducive to learning, perpetuates effective teaching, protects the integrity of the school day, and ensures quality education. Regular, punctual attendance, a responsibility that should be shared by students, parents, and school, is one means by which a student learns responsibility and self-discipline. To encourage attendance, the school district herein adopts the following attendance procedures for Robbinsdale Public Schools:
School Communication Regarding Attendance
1. School administration will send out a general information letter to families at the beginning of the school year and refer to the website with the complete procedure.
a. General Information Letter will include:
i. Importance of attendance/Impact of absences & importance of collaboration between school, student & family
ii. Building time frames for tardy, early release, partial day, and full-day absences
iii. School Attendance Line Information (Spanish option)
iv. District response to cumulative excused and unexcused absences.
a. Hennepin County Be@School link
b. Staff will receive training on absence reporting and responsibilities.
1. If a student is absent or will be absent from class or arrive late to school, the student’s parent or guardian must call the 24-hour attendance line before the start of the school day. Phone calls are preferred to report absences. If a phone call cannot be made, a note with a phone number where a parent or guardian can be reached will be accepted on the day the student returns; otherwise, the absence will be considered unexcused. The parent or guardian must contact the school within 48 hours to change an absence from unexcused to excused. If for some reason a parent is unable to follow the above procedure, the building administrator or designee must be contacted.
2. Students must be in school for a minimum of three hours (unless absent due to a school-sponsored activity or documented medical/dental appointment) in order to be eligible to practice or participate in any activity after school.
3. Physical education & Recess Attendance and Excuses. When a temporary condition or disability resulting from illness or injury makes it necessary for a student not to participate in physical education, swimming, or recess, the parent is asked to write a note making this request. If the student is to be excused for longer than a day a statement from the attending physician requesting this is required. These requests should be brought to the health office before classes start in the morning.
Classification of Absences
1. Excused Absence
a. An excused absence indicates an acceptable absence from school or class with parental/guardian and school permission. Full credit is given for all make-up work, and it is the teachers' and parents'/guardians' obligation to assist the student with all make-up work. Each teacher will notify the students of the classroom’s make-up work policy.
b. A student should complete all missing work within a period equating to two days per day of excused absence from school. Students should proactively request work or assignments in cases of prearranged absences.
c. The following absences are considered excused, and will not be counted toward cumulative absences:
i. Days during which a student is suspended from school. Student will be permitted to complete make-up work
ii. Absence related to compliance with State’s immunization requirements
d. The following absences are considered excused, and will be counted toward cumulative absences:
i. Physical or mental health concern or illness (may be excused by the following means):
a) Written verification from a health care provider
b) Verification from the school nurse
c) Written or verbal communication from the parent/guardian
ii. Serious illness in the student's immediate family.
iii. Medical, dental, orthodontic treatment, or a mental health appointment.
iv. Family emergencies
v. Active duty in any military branch of the United States
vi. College visits
vii. Regularly scheduled religious instruction, not to exceed three hours in any week
viii. Religious holiday or observance
ix. Extreme weather conditions considered by the parent/guardian to be too dangerous for the student to attend school.
x. Driver’s examination. The school requires documentation in order for this to be considered an excused absence.
xi. Prearranged personal or family vacations.
xii. Non-school competitions or events, parent/guardian may request an excused absence for participation in a non-school sponsored athletic, dramatic or musical event. The request must be in writing in advance of the first absence and arrangements will be made to complete missed schoolwork.
e. Excused Absence Verification
i. Documentation for additional excused absences will be required if a student accumulates more than 12 cumulative absences.
ii. Illness greater than 3 days requires medical provider documentation.
2. Unexcused Absence
a. An unexcused absence indicates that the student is absent from school or class with or without the consent of the parent/guardian, for a reason which is not acceptable to the school as excused absences
b. Make-up work may be required, and credit will be given at the discretion of the teacher, based upon the individual classroom’s make-up work policy.
c. Unexcused absences are counted toward cumulative absences
d. The following are examples of absences that will not be excused:
i. Working on school assignments or preparing for exams at home
ii. Work at a business, except under a school-sponsored work release program
iii. Personal or family vacation that is not pre-arranged with school administration
iv. Oversleeping or missing alarms
v. Volunteer work
vi. Missed transportation
e. Consequences of Unexcused Absences
i. In cases of recurring unexcused absences, progressive interventions designated in the Hennepin County Be@School Truancy Prevention program will be implemented.
3. Monitoring Absenteeism
a. Attendance will be taken and recorded daily in elementary schools and for each class period in secondary schools.
b. Multi-Tiered System of Support Team (MTSS) meets on a regular basis to monitor both cumulative student absenteeism and to assure consistency and equity.
c. The school notification system will provide daily, electronic communication to parents with each absence for the school day or a class.
d. School administration will monitor cumulative absences and work with families to improve attendance.
i. At least once per quarter, school administration or designee will communicate with parents about their child’s attendance for students that have the following number of cumulative absences:
a. 9 or more cumulative absences: School administration will communicate with families about attendance concerns via letter and may begin an intervention process to improve attendance.
b. 12 days: School administration will send a letter to families stating future absences will be considered unexcused.
c. 15 days: School administration will send a letter to families notifying them of referral to Be@School.
ii. School administration will monitor unexcused absences and work with families to improve attendance following Hennepin County's Be@School truancy reporting process.
a. 3 days: School administration will send a letter
b. 6 days: Referral to Parent Group Meeting
c 9 days: STAR Report
4. Tardiness & Partial Day Absences
a. Tardiness or partial day absence is classified as excused or unexcused based on the classification of absences.
b. Each school will develop procedures to address excessive and/or unexcused tardies and partial day absence, focused on intervention
c. Tardiness & Partial Day Absence Definitions
Tardy or Early Release
Up to 59 minutes late/early
Partial Day Absence
1-3 hours or 5 tardies
Fall Day Absence
Over 4 hours or 10 tardies
**Tardies and partial day absences will accumulate towards cumulative and unexcused absence totals and will be reported using Be@School guidelines.
Up to 10 minutes per class
Class Period Absence
Over 10 minutes per class
Partial Day Absence
3 period absences
Full Day Absence
7 period absences
** Partial day absences will accumulate towards cumulative and unexcused absences totals and will be reported using Be@School guidelines.
5. Absence reporting for Students 18+
a. Schools will report absences to parents or guardians as they are still a stakeholder in their child’s education
i. Parents/guardians of students 18 and older can submit an opt out form for students to assume responsibility for their own attendance
6. Reenrollment following drop for non-attendance
a. Schools will notify families via phone, email and letter when students are dropped from enrollment for non-attendance. Contact will be documented in Infinite Campus.
b. Students who have been withdrawn for less than 90 calendar days may re-enroll by contacting the school building. Families will be asked to verify census information.
c. Students who have been withdrawn for more than 90 days may re-enroll by contacting the enrollment center and completing registration paperwork.
d. Students 18+ wanting to re-enroll will need to meet with a school and/or adult academic liaison to determine the academic path
7. Roles and responsibilities
a. School administrators are primarily responsible for monitoring and promoting positive school attendance. School administrators also have the authority to modify student attendance once it has been reported.
b. School social workers assist school administrators with tracking student attendance, filing Be@School reports, and implementing interventions for students struggling with attendance.
c. School office employees are responsible for distributing letters to families. Letters will be distributed between October 1 - May 1.