ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO ATTENDANCE

 

Regular attendance by the students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence. Students shall attend school unless excused by the principal of their attendance center.† This policy, developed and annually reviewed in collaboration with the county attorney for the districtís principal office location, is an attempt to address the barriers to student attendance.† This policy shall include a provision indicating how the district and the county attorney will handle cases in which excessive absences are due to illness and shall state the circumstances and number of absences or hourly equivalent upon which the school shall render all services to address barriers to attendance.

 

Any superintendent, principal, teacher, or member of the school board who knows of any violation of the state school attendance laws (79-201) shall report that violation to the school attendance officer within 3 days.

 

The superintendent shall designate an attendance officer.† The attendance officer will immediately investigate the report of any child who may be in violation of the stateís compulsory attendance statutes.

 

If any student has exceeded the number of unexcused absences as defined in the student handbook, the school shall render all services to address barriers to attendance.† These services shall include the following:

 

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.†† A meeting or meetings between the school attendance officer, school social worker, a school administrator or designee, the person who has legal or actual control of the child, and the student (when appropriate) to address the barriers to attendance.† 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 be 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.

 

 

Approved ______________ Reviewed ______________ Revised ________________

 

 

The school may report to the county attorney of the county in which the person resides when the school has documented the efforts it has made as required by statutes, that the collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance has not been successful, and that the child has been absent more than twenty days per year.† The school shall notify the childís family in writing prior to referring the child to the county attorney. Illness that makes attendance impossible or impracticable shall not be the basis for referral to the county attorney.

†††

Students are subject to disciplinary action for excessive absenteeism including suspension and expulsion. It shall be within the discretion of the principal to determine, in light of the circumstances, whether a student may make up work missed because of excessive absenteeism. †Disciplinary action for students receiving special education services will be assigned in accordance with the goals and objectives of the student's Individualized Education Program.

 

The superintendent 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 of a student; referral of a student to the office of the county attorney for excessive absenteeism; or contacting of law enforcement officials other than school resource officers by the district relative to a student enrolled in the district.† The superintendent shall report annually to the Commissioner the required data for the number of students who have dropped out of school.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to implement this policy. The implementation may include regulations indicating the disciplinary action to be taken for excessive absenteeism.

 

Legal Reference: ††††††††††††††††††† Neb. Statute 79-208 and 209

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† NDE Rule 10.012.01B

Cross Reference: ††††††††††††††††††† 411.03 Attendance Officer

505 †††† Student Discipline

506 †††† Student Activities

507 †††† Student Records