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AA432 – Student Attendance and Teacher Disclosure Statements

  • Effective: 9/27/1977
  • Revision: 9/22/2020
  • Reviewed: 12/10/2013

  1. Board Directive
    The Board of Education recognizes that regular student attendance at school facilitates academic achievement by maximizing the interaction between students and teachers. The Board also recognizes that regular student attendance at school is mandated by Utah Compulsory Attendance Law 53G-6-202, which requires students between the ages of six and 18 to attend school and is critical if schools are to meet the accountability standards set by federal and state legislation.  The Board, therefore, delegates to the District and local school administration the responsibility to develop school policies and procedures that promote regular student attendance. The school’s responsibility is to encourage and help students develop positive attendance habits that will enhance opportunities for future success.
  2. Administrative Policy
    Frequent absences of students from the day-to-day classroom experiences disrupt the instructional process.  The benefits of instruction, once lost, cannot be entirely regained.  The process of education requires a continuity of instruction, class participation, learning experience, and study.  Therefore, the local school will make every effort within the following administrative policy provisions, to encourage regular attendance for all students and to assist parents in their responsibility to have their children attend school regularly.

    1. Parents/guardians have primary responsibility for regular student attendance at school. School staff and students also share in that responsibility.
      1. Students are expected to be in attendance every school day in order to receive maximum benefit from their education experiences. If a student is legitimately absent from class, it is his/her responsibility to contact the teacher regarding make-up work.  If a student is tardy for class, it is his/her responsibility to contact the school office, teacher, or utilize any other established school procedure so that an unexcused absence is not assessed.  It is also a student’s responsibility to obtain a checkout slip from the office when he/she must leave during the school day.
      2. Parents/guardians are expected to ensure that their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify school officials of legitimate absences. The parent/guardian must telephone the office to confirm a checkout prior to the student’s leaving during the school day.
      3. Classroom teachers are required to record and verify daily student attendance as outlined in the Student Services Planning and Enrollment Manual. The individual school/teacher will, where appropriate, develop grading and credit policy that promotes attendance, class participation, and academic achievement.
        1. Learner validated attendance, in accordance with Utah Board Rule R277-419 Pupil Accounting, should be entered into the district’s student information system (SIS) daily and reviewed weekly as follows:
          1. In-person or live (streaming) online instruction
            1. Attendance will be recorded in the SIS at least once per day (elementary) or each class period (secondary).
          2. Virtual at home (online only) instruction (including competency-based instruction)
            1. Students will be considered “virtually present” if they have met the minimum criteria for participation. A variety of measures may be used to determine if a student participated in the learner validated program in an online, virtual at-home, blended or competency-based learning environment (digital or analog) including but not limited to:
              1. Evidence that validates student learning (e.g., online or offline assignment submission; rubric-scored written work; presentations; artistic performances and products; research projects; formative assessment results; progress toward academic goals; student portfolios; demonstrated competency assessments; explicit self-reflections on what students have learned related to institutional programs such as service learning; student ratings of their knowledge, skills, and reflections on what they have learned over a course of a specified period of time)
              2. Evidence that validates student participation (e.g., login data; discussion boards; completion of math and literacy supplemental software; virtual conferencing participation; classroom response systems (surveys/polls/quick checks); observations of field work; internship performance; service learning; clinical experiences; feedback from computer-simulated tasks; Social/Emotional Learning tools; number of student hours spent on activities related to a course)
              3. Evidence that validates student communication (e.g., emails from students or other electronic messages; student surveys; conversations by phone; feedback exchanges via learning management system; assignment pick-up/drop-off)
              4. Duration/Frequency minimums for student participation (e.g., minimum student login or teacher contact requirement; minimum hourly requirement, per day or week, when students are engaged in course work; required periodic contact with a licensed educator)
            2. Virtual students who have not met the minimum criteria to be considered present by the last day of the school week will be marked “unexcused absent” for the entire week.
      4. Any student that has had no contact, participation, or has not met the minimum criteria to be marked present, whether in-person or live (streaming) online or virtual at-home, for 10 consecutive school days shall be removed from district membership in the SIS, unless the student has a valid excuse under UCA 53G-6-201(9).
    2. Each school, in cooperation with the community, shall develop a schoolwide attendance plan that complies with state and District policies. Development of a schoolwide attendance plan shall include use of research findings, faculty and staff consensus, community input, and involve the respective Administrator of Schools.
      1. The schoolwide attendance plan must
        1. Identify common attendance issues, including but not limited to:
          1. Chronic absenteeism, defined as missing ten percent or more of the academic year for any reason, including excused and unexcused absences, suspension, and time missed due to changing schools.
          2. Truancy, defined by UCA 53G-6-201(7)(a) as a condition in which a school-age child, without valid excuse is absent for at least half the school day.
        2. Include possible interventions for attendance issues, including but not limited to:
          1. Attendance contracts and positive behavior interventions.
          2. Counseling of the student by school personnel.
          3. Adjusting the curriculum and schedule (if necessary) to meet the needs of the student.
          4. Voluntary participation in truancy mediation (if available).
          5. Consideration of alternatives proposed by the parent or legal guardian.
          6. Providing the parent or legal guardian, when appropriate, a list of resources available to assist in resolving attendance problems.
          7. Enlisting the assistance and resources of community-based agencies and programs.
          8. Court referrals, issued as a "last resort” and only in accordance to UCA 63G-8-211-4(a).
        3. Include the following, as appropriate for the grade and developmental level of the student body:
          1. A rationale for the importance of attendance.
          2. Responsibilities for students, parents, classroom teachers, and school administrators.
          3. Procedures for managing attendance issues, i.e., illness, check in/out, school activity absences, etc.
          4. An acceptable range of school and teacher consequences for unexcused absences and tardies.
          5. Guidelines for making up work.
          6. Other pertinent information that addresses local school attendance needs.
      2. School principals shall submit the schoolwide attendance plan annually to their respective Administrators of Schools for review and approval.
    3. The schoolwide attendance plan shall guide the development of disclosure statements for each course in secondary schools:
        1. Disclosure statements must:
          1. Comply with District and school administrative policy provisions
          2. Outline grading expectations for three basic components:
            1. Assessments
            2. Assignments
            3. Classroom attendance and participation
          3. Outline procedures and timelines for making up work and earning points/credit missed due to a legitimate absence. Legitimate absences are defined as:  verified illness, medical appointments, bereavement, court appearances, emergencies, pre-approved educational leave, and special family or religious events.
          4. The process to make up work and earn points/credit missed due to administratively approved school activity absences. Students shall also be allowed to make up work and earn points/credit missed for legitimate absences as listed in section C.3.
        2. All students shall receive disclosure statements for all classes on or before the fifth day of enrollment in the course. Parents and students shall be encouraged to return signed disclosure statements in a timely manner, typically two to four days.
        3. Teachers are encouraged to award points/credit for the return of signed disclosure statements within the established time frame.
        4. All disclosure statements must receive approval from the local school administrator or designee prior to distribution to students and parents.