This Policy is under review.
5008 - Student Attendance
Last Updated Date: 11/15/2021
Adoption Date: 05/21/2018
Revisions History: 07/13/2020
A. Addressing Barriers to Attendance:
1. After a student has accumulated FIVE days of unexcused absence (as set forth in Paragraph D. below), or its hourly equivalent, the District shall render services to address barriers to that student’s attendance. Such services shall include, but are not limited to:
a. Verbal or written communication by school officials with the parent/guardian of the child; and
b. One or more meetings between, at a minimum, a School Support Liaison (SSL)/Attendance Designees, school counselor, a school social worker, a school administrator, (collectively, the “School Attendance Team”), the parent/guardian of the student and, when appropriate, the student, to attempt to address the barriers to attendance. During this meeting or meetings a Collaborative Plan will be developed to improve attendance. This Collaborative 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;
vi. Assisting the family in working with other community services; and
vii.Referral to restorative justice practices or services.
2. After a student has accumulated TEN cumulative days of unexcused absences (as set forth in Paragraph D. below), or its hourly equivalent, the student’s records will be reviewed by the School Attendance Team and individualized problem solving or updating of the Collaborative Plan may occur as needed.
3. After a student has accumulated FIFTEEN cumulative days of unexcused absences (as set forth in Paragraph D. below), or its hourly equivalent, a letter will be sent to the parent/guardian of that student by the designated school official. This letter shall provide notice to the parent/guardian that the District may refer the absences of the child to the county attorney upon twenty days of unexcused absences, or its hourly equivalent. This letter shall also provide notice to the parent/guardian that they may request a meeting to review the Collaborative Plan.
B. Reporting Excessive Absenteeism to the County Attorney:
The District may report to the county attorney when the school has documented the efforts made as required by the Collaborative Plan have not been successful in improving regular attendance by a student and the student has accumulated TWENTY cumulative days of unexcused absences (as set forth in Paragraph C. below), or its hourly equivalent, since the beginning of the current school year. The designated school official shall also provide notice to the parent/guardian prior to the referral to the county attorney being made.
A referral cannot be made to the county attorney’s office until a student has accumulated TWENTY cumulative days of unexcused absences (as set forth in Paragraph D. below), or its hourly equivalent; however, the school may involve the county attorney at any point in the process of addressing the student’s absences. The designated school official will provide notice to the parent/guardian when a referral is made to the county attorney.
The School Attendance Team will be responsible for implementing and monitoring the process set forth in this paragraph B. above.
C. Excused Absences:
The following circumstances will not be counted toward intervention as required by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-209:
Excused absences will only include:
1. School Sponsored Activities – School related activities that take a student out of their scheduled classes, i.e. field trips, competitions, athletic events, school matinees, speakers, testing, etc.
2. Bereavement – Parent/guardian notifies the school the student is attending a funeral.
3. Court/Legal Appearance – Parent/guardian notifies the school the student is required to attend a court or legal proceeding. This is specific to only the student.
4. Ill – Parent/Guardian notifies the school the student is ill.
5. Medically Excused – A medical provider’s note is required to verify the absence to include: a medical appointment, hospitalization, or a long term chronic illness; or the school nurse is required to send the student home.
6. Military Leave – Parent/guardian notifies the school the student absence is specific to deployment and/or military leave activities.
7. Office – The student is in the school, but has written authorization from a school administrator or nurse identify the reason the student was not in class.
8. Post-Secondary Visit – Parent/guardian notifies the school the student is visiting a post-secondary program.
9. Religious Holiday Observance- Parent/guardian notifies the school of the religious holiday observance.
10. Student Success Center – Student is assigned to the Student Success Center.
11. Suspension – Student absence while s/he has been suspended.
12. Bus – The Principal, or designee, provides notice that there has been a delay due to District provided transportation.
D. Unexcused Absences (Absences Requiring Intervention):
The following circumstances will require intervention as required by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79- 209:
Unexcused absences will include:
1. Absent – The school has been notified of an absence that does not constitute an excused absence pursuant to Paragraph C. above.
2. Truant – Neither the family nor school officials know the student’s whereabouts, the student is refusing to attend school, class, remote learning, or the school has been notified that the student has been reported as a run-away.
3. Unverified – No one has contacted the school, or the school has been unable to confirm the reason for the absence, or the school has not confirmed the reason for absence.
Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-201 and 79-209