Policy 503.02

Attendance

Regular attendance by students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students are encouraged to ensure regular and timely attendance at school. Absences from school should whenever possible be minimized.

Every person residing in the district who has legal or actual charge or control of a child between the ages of six (as of January 1 of the then-current school year) and eighteen years of age shall cause that child to attend school each and every day that school is in session. Truancy is being absent from school without parental/guardian knowledge and/or school permission. Repeated truancy will not be tolerated by the district.

Attendance is not mandatory for a child who has reached the age of 6 years of age prior to January 1 of the then current school year, if the child’s parent or guardian has signed and filed with the school district in which the child resides an affidavit stating either: the child is participating in an education program that the parent or guardian believes will prepare the child to enter grade one for the following year; or that the parent or guardian intends for the child to participate in a school which has elected or will elect pursuant to law not to meet accreditation or approval requirements and the parent or guardian intends to provide the Commissioner of Education with a statement pursuant to section 79-1601 (3) on or before the child’s seventh birthday. Attendance is also not mandatory for a child who has obtained a high school diploma by meeting statutory graduation requirements; has completed the program of instruction offered by a school which elects pursuant to law not to meet accreditation or approval requirements; or has reached the age of 16 years and has been withdrawn from school in the manner prescribed by law (see Policy 502.08).

It shall be the policy of the Elkhorn Public Schools to report as truant any student enrolled in the district for excessive absenteeism on the part of such student. The term “excessive absenteeism,” as used herein, shall mean unexcused and excused absences exceeding five (5) days per quarter or the hourly equivalent or when the number of unexcused and excused absences exceeds twenty days cumulatively per school year of the hourly equivalent.

For any quarter in which the number of excused and unexcused absences exceeds five (5) days or its hourly equivalent, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall see that the following services are provided to the student and his/her guardian:

1. Verbal or written communication by school officials with the person or persons who have legal or actual charge or control of any child; and
2. One or more meetings between the school principal or designee, the student’s parent or guardian or person who has actual charge or control of the student, and the student (when appropriate), if necessary to report and to attempt to address the barriers to attendance, unless the school official has documented the refusal of the parent or guardian to participate in such meetings. 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 limited to:

(i) Illness related to physical or behavioral health of the child.
(ii) Educational counseling;
(iii) Educational evaluation;
(iv) Referral to community agencies for economic services;
(v) Family or individual counseling; and
(vi) Assisting the family in working with other community services.

After meeting with the parent/guardians and the absences have been determined excessive per this policy, the principal will categorize all absences (past and future) as “unexcused” unless sufficient health information is evident or other extraordinary circumstances are evident and merits the discretion of the principal.

The school may report to the county attorney of the county in which the person resides when the school has documented the efforts to address excessive absences, the collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance has not been successful, and the student has accumulated more than twenty (20) absences per year. The school shall notify the child’s family in writing prior to referring the child to the county attorney. Illness Student health condition that makes attendance impossible or impracticable shall not be the basis for referral to the county attorney. A report to the county attorney may also be made when a student otherwise accrues excessive absences as herein defined.

The Superintendent or designee shall report to the Commissioner of Education as directed by the Commissioner regarding the number of and reason for any long-term suspension, expulsion, or excessive absenteeism; or contacting of law enforcement officials (other than law enforcement officials employed by or contracted by the District as a resource officer) by the District relative to a student enrolled in the District. A copy shall also be provided to the Learning Community Coordinating Council with a copy of such report on or before the date the report is due to the Commissioner.Legal Reference:

Legal Reference:
79-201, 79-209, 79-527

Approved: September 14, 1992
Revised: September 12, 1996
Revised: September 14, 1998
Revised: April 10, 2006
Revised: March 9, 2009
Revised: December 13, 2010
Revised: November 14, 2011
Revised: August 11, 2014
Revised: August 21, 2017