"Every Day Matters!"
Regular school attendance is essential for success in school. Students with 95% attendance rates or better are more than twice as likely to pass standardized achievement tests as students who attend only 85% of the time. Students who are frequently absent may be putting their futures in jeopardy; studies have shown that chronic absenteeism, especially truancy, is highly associated with dropping out of school and has a direct and negative result on student achievement.
Dropouts typically earn $260,000 less than high school graduates over a lifetime. Please strive to have your children in attendance every school day unless they are sick. We urge you to ensure your child’s best opportunity for educational success by scheduling medical and dental appointments after school hours except in cases of emergency and by scheduling family vacations during school vacation and recess periods.
State law requires that you authorize your child’s absence from school and notify us in advance or at the time of the absence. Your call to us will also help protect your child. If your child is absent and we don’t hear from you, we’ll do our best to contact you by phone the same day that class is missed. Accordingly, it’s vital that we have one or more telephone numbers to contact you. If your numbers change, let us know right away. Due to the number of students enrolled in our District, calls may be made by an automated system to ensure we can contact all parents on a timely basis.
State law also mandates that the school record a reason for a child’s absence. Absences are excused only for necessary and important reasons. Such reasons include illness, bereavement, other family emergencies, and observance of religious holidays of the family's faith.
When a student will be absent, the parent must call the school on or before the day of the absence in order to advise the school of the absence and the reason for the absence. When it is impossible to call on the day of the absence, the school should be notified when the student returns in time for the student to obtain an admission slip prior to the student's first class. If no authorization is received by one day after your child returns, the absence will be considered unexcused. For absences greater than one day in length, the school should be notified in advance or on each day of the absence. If a parent does not have access to a phone, either at home or at work, a note will be accepted for verification purposes.
If your child is absent for ten (10) consecutive school days: state law mandates that your child be automatically withdrawn from enrollment in order to stop state funding. You may then be required to fill out new enrollment documentation upon returning from an absence of such length.
Excessive absences may also affect a student’s eligibility to participate in field trips, extracurricular activities and sports. In addition, absences can result in discipline and may be considered by a teacher in determining a student’s grade or promoting a student; a student can fail a class or be retained in a grade level due to excessive absences.
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school. If a student is habitually truant, the parents and student may be cited by the court for truancy. By law, a student is considered habitually truant if absent without excuse for five or more days or if absent, with or without excuse, for 18 or more days.
Chronic Illnesses: In cases where medical documentation can be provided regarding a long-term illness or an ongoing medical condition, parents should contact their school administration regarding the chronic health program.
"Take Your Child To Work Day": Certain groups promote "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work" events, usually on a school day in April of each year. In past years, significant numbers of students went to work with their parents on these days, making it very difficult for teachers to provide meaningful activities and negatively impacting instructional benefits for those students absent. As a result, many school districts and employers in Arizona have been encouraging an alternate day in the summer for these events. By choosing a non-school day for this activity, you will provide your student with two important messages – the value of the work place and the importance of education in order to succeed in the work place.
Open enrollment students: Those who are frequently absent may lose their open enrollment status. A student will benefit more from attending school regularly somewhere else rather than attending school in our District on an inconsistent basis.
Compulsory Attendance: According to Arizona law, students must be in school until they reach the age of 16 or they successfully complete the 10th grade.