Provo School District Attendance Policy
State Compulsory Attendance Law Utah State Law requires students between the ages of six and eighteen to be in attendance at school unless they have graduated from high school.
Attendance Impact on Educational Success The Provo City School District Board of Education recognizes the importance of regular student attendance to a successful learning experience. Research supports the fact that attendance is crucial to improving student achievement. On-time attendance is a critical starting point for high levels of student achievement. The opportunities lost through student absence and tardiness leave learning gaps that are difficult to fill. Parents, students, and school personnel should make decisions that lead to excellent classroom attendance. Teachers should employ strategies that encourage on-time attendance through recognition, rewards, and grades.
The Board further recognizes that:
- All students are expected to be in class and on-time every school day, in every class. Provo School District will follow state law and federal guidelines as they pertain to attendance.
- Excused or unexcused absences, frequent absences, and/or tardiness of students from regular classroom learning experiences disrupt the continuity of the instructional process.
a. Excused absences – Schools will allow students with excused absences to remain current in their classwork by allowing make-up work in a prompt and timely manner.
b. Unexcused absences – Schools may or may not allow students with unexcused absences to make up missed assignments.
- The entire process of education requires a regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences, and study in order to meet student achievement goals.
- Holding students and their parents/guardians responsible for attendance is part of the District’s larger mission to train students to be productive citizens who are college and career ready.
- State law reflects the importance of regular attendance by establishing compulsory school attendance and charging this Board to enforce that law. Ten day rule: By law, any student who does not attend school for ten consecutive days without a legitimate excuse will be dropped from school rolls. The parent will be required to re-enroll their student in school, which could effect students’ choice application, placement in classes and class credit.
- The Board supports social responsibility (citizenship) procedures developed within the schools.
- Each school will keep accurate records of student daily attendance as required by Utah State Law.
- The principal or designee has the authority to determine whether an absence will be approved or denied, and whether an absence is excused or unexcused.
- Each school will notify parents/guardians of student unexcused and/or excessive absences. Parent notification may include, but is not limited to one of the following:
- Voice mail systems
- Teacher contact
- Attendance office calls or tracker calls
- Computer-generated letters
- Progress reports or student on-line information system (i.e. Powerschool)
- Administrator, counselor, social worker or truancy contact
4. Each school will develop procedures to address excessive and/or unexcused absences/tardies. This program may include but is not limited to the following:
- Teacher notification of parents (attendance concerns, progress report, telephone contact)
- Student-teacher conference
- Parent conference
- Support personnel assistance, (i.e. school nurse, counselor, social worker, administrator, care team, district truancy support programs) Detentions and/or In-School Suspension
- Administrative suspension
- Juvenile court referrals will accept students 17 years old and younger.
- Each teacher will be responsible for taking and recording accurate class attendance each period.
- Each teacher will be required to follow the district’s attendance policies.
- Teachers will maximize the use of instructional time for the benefit of student learning and engagement.
- Utah Law under the Compulsory School Attendance subsection places the burden of responsibility for school attendance on the parent.
- Parents have the responsibility to assure their student will be in school and on time.
- Parents will notify the school attendance office of each student absence.
- Parents/guardians will make the necessary arrangements if they plan in advance to take a student out of school.
- Parents will be responsible to monitor their child’s attendance either electronically (i.e. Powerschool) or by contacting the school.
- Parents may fill out an appeals form to waive attendance penalties. A parent/principal meeting will be held to review concerns and determine waiver outcomes. If the parent or guardian is not satisfied, they may contact the Executive Director of Student Services for further review and a final decision.
Students will be expected to be prepared for and to fully participate in classroom lessons.
- Students will assume increasing responsibility for regular and prompt school attendance as they progress through the educational system. A conscientious effort will be made to attend daily.
- Students will adhere to the attendance procedures as defined by each school.
- D. Students will cooperate with school officials and support personnel to correct any attendance problems that may develop.
Legal References Synopsis
Utah Code, 53A-11-101, 53A-11-102) Compulsory Attendance
Utah Code 53A-11 101-105 Habitual truancy & Compulsory Education
Utah Administrative Rule R277-419-5 Student Membership
Attendance Procedures: Secondary Students
The purpose of this procedure is to implement the Student Attendance policy. Further, it is the purpose of this procedure not to emphasize the punitive aspects of compulsory attendance, but to underscore to students and parents the importance of children being in school every day.
“Notification of Attendance” letters are warnings to alert families of attendance concerns and/or providing an opportunity to resolve issues with the school administration.
“1st Citation” letters are referrals to Provo School District’s Truancy School.
“2nd Citation” letters are referrals to Provo School District’s Attendance Court (PAC).
High Schools – When Attendance Letters are Issued
|3 unexcused absences in the same class per termor6 unexcused absences in different class periods per term||Notification of Attendance Letter|
|10 unexcused class periods||1st Citation Letter|
|14 unexcused class periods||2nd Citation Letter|
|Above absences numbers are for each term|
Students having excessive absences during a term may be contacted by the school administration to schedule a conference with parents to discuss the impact of absenteeism on student learning and to make an attendance plan and/or contract. Further absences without an administrative conference may be counted as unexcused absences. Students having excessive excused absences due to a stated illness may be required to provide a doctor’s note specifically addressing the dates the student was absent from school. This requirement will be discussed at the absenteeism conference between parents and school administrators.
Valid Excuses Valid Excuses are absences for an illness, family death, approved school activity, military block leave, excuse consistent with student’s IEP, 504-accommodation plan, or a school/school district valid excuse definition (Utah Code R277-607-1).
- Parents may fill out an appeals form to waive attendance penalties. Access appeals form here.
- Parents are encouraged to excuse absences immediately and must excuse absences within two school days after returning to school for a legitimate reason according to Utah State Code 53a-11-101-105. If the absence is not excused according to the guideline listed above, the absence/s will be recorded as unexcused.
- Parents are requested to excuse their child’s absence by calling the school, sending an email, fax or a note.
- Students who are ill are encouraged to stay home. Illness guidelines may be found in Procedure 3150 P-3.
School Site-Based Decisions/Actions:
- Intervention letters may be sent before the Notification of Attendance letter.
- Letters are sent as determined by the school administration.
- Excessive tardies may be cited as determined by the school administration.
- Unexcused absences are determined by periods missed.
- A truancy letter may be issued to a student for willful truant behavior.
- Principal or designee determines appropriate procedures for truancy and has the authority to grant exceptions to the above procedures in situations involving unforeseen circumstances.
In general, all teachers will ensure that they keep students in the classroom during the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes of each class period.
Administrators and trackers will periodically sweep the halls to find students who are out of class without a valid excuse. These students will receive a lunch detention.
All students are responsible to check-in and checkout at the attendance office any time they enter or leave campus during the school day. Parents who are checking students out may be asked to provide I.D. for the protection of our students.