School Board Policy 503



  1. A. The school board believes that regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this policy is to encourage regular school attendance. It is intended to be positive and not punitive.

  2. B. This policy also recognizes that class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, teacher and administrators. This policy will assist students in attending class.


  1. Responsibilities.

    1. Student's Responsibility

      It is the student's right to be in school. It is also the student's responsibility to attend all assigned classes and study halls every day that school is in session and to be aware of and follow the correct procedures when absent from an assigned class or study hall. Finally, it is the student's responsibility to request any missed assignments due to an absence.

    2. Parent or Guardian's Responsibility

      It is the responsibility of the student's parent or guardian to ensure the student is attending school, to inform the school in the event of a student absence, and to work cooperatively with the school and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.

    3. Teacher's Responsibility

      It is the teacher's responsibility to take daily attendance and to maintain accurate attendance records in each assigned class and study hall. It is also the teacher's responsibility to be familiar with all procedures governing attendance and to apply these procedures uniformly. It is also the teacher's responsibility to provide any student who has been absent with any missed assignments upon request. Finally, it is the teacher's responsibility to work cooperatively with the student's parent or guardian and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.

    4. Administrator's Responsibility

      1. It is the administrator's responsibility to require students to attend all assigned classes and study halls. It is also the administrator's responsibility to be familiar with all procedures governing attendance and to apply these procedures uniformly to all students, to maintain accurate records on student attendance and to prepare a list of the previous day's absences stating the status of each. Finally, it is the administrator's responsibility to inform the student's parent or guardian of the student's attendance and to work cooperatively with them and the student to solve attendance problems.
      2. In accordance with the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minn. Stat. § 120A.22, the students of the school district are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes and/or study halls every day school is in session, unless the student has been excused by the school board from attendance because the student has already completed the studies ordinarily required to graduate from high school, has withdrawn, or has a valid excuse for absence.
  2. Attendance Procedures.

    1. Excused Absences

    1. The following reasons shall be sufficient to constitute excused absences:
      • (1) Illness. A note from the doctor may be required by the administration.
      • (2) Sickness or death in the family.
      • (3) Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe forbusses.
      • (4) Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm,etc.
      • (5) Observance of religious holiday.
      • (6) Religious instruction not to exceed three hours in anyweek.
      • (7) Quarantine.
      • (8) Appearance in court.
      • (9) Medical or dental treatment.
        Students should bring notewith times of appointment from medical person uponreturn to school or at the discretion of the principal.
      • (10) Personal/Needed at home (no more than 3 times during a school year.)
      • (11) Official school field trip or other school-sponsored event.
      • (12) Trips, vacations, short trips out of town and hunting time will be considered at the discretion of the principal after meeting with parent.
      • (13) Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension.
        Suspensions are to be handled as excused absences and students will be required to complete make-up work.
      • (14) Students will have 2 days for each day of excused absence missed to make-up the assignments that were assigned during the absence.
      • (15) Students at Nevis High School receive participation grades from each class as part of a term grade. With the exception of extended illnesses, injury or other personal emergency (doctor's note may be required), a student cannot be excused more than three (3) days in one year. Upon three (3) days of unexcused absences parents will be notified and a report may be filed with a county truancy officer. Student absences can cause a reduction in their grade. Course letter grades may be reduced by the teacher if a student is absent. Participation grade reductions can be made up by completing the required assignments given a reasonable deadline set by the teacher. Approved early outs for co-curricular activities are not subject to this rule.
    2. Consequences of Excused Absences
      • (1) Students whose absences are excused are required to make up all assignments missed or to complete alternative assignments as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher.
      • (2) Work missed because of absence must be made up within two days from the date of the student's return to school. Any work not completed within this period shall result in "no credit" for the missed assignment. However, the building principal or the classroom teacher may extend the time allowed for completion of make-up work in the case of an extended illness or other extenuating circumstances.
  3. Unexcused Absences

    1. Although the following list is not a complete listing of the absences which will be considered unexcused, it does provide the student and parent with examples of absences which are definitely unexcused. Students will receive an unexcused absence for missing part or all of the school day because they:
      • (1) Went shopping
      • (2) Got a haircut or tanning
      • (3) Missed the bus
      • (4) Skipping Class or School:
        Skipping is defined as being absent from school or class without the permission of the principal or parent. When a student is found to have skipped all or part of the school day, the parent of the student will be notified and required to make a personal request via the telephone or in person to the principal in order for the student to be re-admitted to school. The student will serve the required alternative time. If the student is assigned to AR time and does not serve it as instructed, then the student may be suspended from school or receive other punishment as deemed appropriate by the principal.
      • (5) Overslept
      • (6) Students who have excessive absences will be dealt with on an individual basis with principal, parent, student, teacher and truancy intervention tracker (through Hubbard County Court System). The full policy can be viewed in the superintendent's or principal's office.
    2. Consequences of Unexcused Absences
      • (1) Absences resulting from official suspension will be handled in accordance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56.
      • (2) Days during which a student is suspended from school shall not be counted in a student's total cumulated unexcused absences.
      • (3) In cases of recurring unexcused absences, the administration may also request the county attorney to file a petition with the juvenile court, pursuant to Minnesota statutes.
      • (4) Students with unexcused absences will serve two days in the alternative room.
  4. Tardiness.

    1. Definition: Students are expected to be in their assigned area at designated times. Failure to do so constitutes tardiness.

    2. Procedures for Reporting Tardiness

      1. Students tardy at the start of school must report to the school office for an admission slip.
      2. Tardiness between periods will be handled by the teacher.
    3. Excused Tardiness

      Tardy is five minutes or less lateness to class without a pass giving permission for that lateness. If the student is tardy, the student must secure a "Tardy" slip from the principal or the teacher who detained the student.

    4. Unexcused Tardiness

      1. An unexcused tardiness is failing to be in an assigned area at the designated time class period commences without a valid excuse.
      2. Consequences of tardiness may include three unexcused tardies to equal one day in the alternative room during the lunch period and nine unexcused tardies to equal one full day in the alternative room.
  5. Participation in Extracurricular Activities and School-Sponsored On-the-Job Training Programs.

    1. This policy applies to all students involved in any extracurricular activity scheduled either during or outside the school day and any school-sponsored on-the-job training programs.

    2. School-initiated absences will be accepted and participation permitted.

      A student may not participate in any activity or program if he or she has an unexcused absence from any class during the day.

    3. If a student is suspended from any class, he or she may not participate in any activity or program that day.

    4. If a student is absent from school due to medical reasons, he or she must present a physician's statement clearing the student for participation that day. The note must be presented to the principal or activities director before the student participates in the activity or program.

    5. All participants will be in school all day on the day of practice, contest or event. Students who miss school due to illness during the day will not participate that night. Medical appointments will be excused at the principal's discretion and must be pre-excused before 8:30 a.m.

    6. A student reporting to school tardy the day after competition or performance will not be eligible to compete in the next performance or contest. The only exception is if the student must be in attendance at a performance because the performance is part of their grade.


Copies of this policy shall be made available to all students and parents at the commencement of each school year. This policy shall also be available upon request in each principal's office.


  1. Continuing Truant.

    Minn. Stat. § 260A.02 provides that a continuing truant is a student who is subject to the compulsory instruction requirements of Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 and is absent from instruction in a school, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 120A.05, without valid excuse within a single school year for:

    1. three days if the child is in elementary school; or

    2. two or more class periods on three days if the child is in high school.

  2. Reporting Responsibility.

    When a student is initially classified as a continuing truant, Minn. Stat. § 260A.03 provides that the principal or other designated school official shall notify the student's parent or legal guardian, by first class mail or other reasonable means, of the following:

    1. that the child is truant;

    2. that the parent or guardian should notify the school if there is a valid excuse for the child's absences;

    3. that the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the child at school pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 and parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be subject to prosecution under Minn. Stat. § 120A.34;

    4. that this notification serves as the notification required by Minn. Stat. § 120A.34;

    5. that alternative educational programs and services may be available in the district;

    6. that the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the child's truancy;

    7. that if the child continues to be truant, the parent and child may be subject to juvenile court proceedings under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260;

    8. that if the child is subject to juvenile court proceedings, the child may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the child's driving privilege pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 260C.201; and

  3. Habitual Truant.

    1. A habitual truant is a child under the age of 16 years who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for seven school days if the child is in elementary school or for one or more class periods on seven school days if the child is in high school, or a child who is 16 or 17 years of age who is absent from attendance at school without lawful excuse for one or more class periods on seven school days and who has not lawfully withdrawn from school.

    2. A school district official shall refer a habitual truant child and the child's parent or legal guardian to appropriate services and procedures, under Minn. Stat. Ch. 260A.

Legal References:

Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.24 (Reporting)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.26 (Enforcement and Prosecution)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.28 (School Boards and Teachers, Duties)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.30 (Attendance Officers)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.34 (Violations; Penalties)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40 - 121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 260C.007, Subd. 19 (Habitual Truant Defined)
Minn. Stat. § 260A.02 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 260A.03 (Notice to Parent or Guardian When Child is Continuing Truant)
Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 95 S.Ct. 729 (1975)
Slocum v. Holton Board of Education, 429 N.W.2d 607 (Mich. App. Ct. 1988)
Campbell v. Board of Education of New Milford, 475 A.2d 289 (Conn. 1984)
Hamer v. Board of Education of Township High School District No. 113, 66 Ill. App.3d 7 (1978)
Gutierrez v. School District R-1, 585 P.2d 935 (Co. Ct. App. 1978)
Knight v. Board of Education, 38 Ill. App. 3d 603, 348 N.E.2d 299 (1976)
Dorsey v. Bale, 521 S.W.2d 76 (Ky. 1975)

Cross References:

School Board Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

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