501.9 Student Absences - Excused/Unexcused

Classroom attendance policies are established to encourage regular daily school attendance. When a student is absent, the educational benefit of regular classroom instruction is lost and cannot be entirely regained even by extra out-of-school instruction and work. Frequent absences from school are detrimental to students achieving the maximum regular continuity of instruction, classroom participation, learning experiences, and study to reach the maximum educational benefits for each individual student.


Students often establish patterns in school that follow them into future years. The student’s attendance record becomes a part of the permanent record and is a major concern for job applications.


Student absences approved by the administration shall be excused. Students, whose absences are approved, shall have an opportunity to make up, if possible, the work missed and receive full credit for the missed school work. It shall be the responsibility of the student to initiate a procedure with the student’s teacher to complete the work missed.


Students who wish to participate in school-sponsored activities must attend school the last half of the day of the activity unless permission has been given by the principal for the student to be absent.


It shall be the responsibility of the parent to notify the student’s attendance center as soon as the parent knows the student will not be attending school on that day. The principal may request some form of evidence, written verification, or a conference regarding the reason for the student’s absence.


Absences, including tardiness, which are not approved by the administration, shall be unexcused absences. Students are subject to disciplinary action for unexcused absences. It shall be within the discretion of the principal to investigate and determine whether disciplinary or special action is necessary for students who are absent repeatedly.


A student absent without the principal’s or the parents’ permission is considered truant. To be truant means the student willfully failed to attend school regularly even though the student is required to attend. Truant students may be reported to the local law enforcement officers.


It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the building principals, to develop administrative regulation regarding these two policies. The administrative regulations shall indicate the specific action to be taken regarding absences.


Legal Reference:                   

Iowa Code §§ 294.4.

281 I.A.C. 12.2(4)


Approved   02/26/91       Reviewed 06/20/2016      Revised 06/20/2016