Attendance Policy

Compulsory Attendance

1. All children between the ages of six and eighteen shall attend school regularly during the full period and hours in which the school is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes 18 years of age, or until the child has graduated from high school.

2. A student who has reached the age of 16 may be excused by the School Board from school attendance if the student has requested permission to be excused and has the written approval of his/her parent or guardian; the student and his/her parent or guardian agree, in writing, that the student will participate in a program or curriculum modification leading to the student’s high school graduation and the student complies with the written agreement.

3. A student who is 17 years of age or older may be excused by the School Board from school attendance if the student has requested permission to be excused and has the written approval of his/her parent or guardian; and the student and his/her parent or guardian agree, in writing, that the student will participate in a program or curriculum modification leading to the student’s high school graduation or leading to a high school equivalency diploma and the student complies with the written agreement.

4. If the written agreement is suspended, the student will be expected to attend school on a regular basis in accordance with state statute, Board policy and established procedures.

  • Attendance Exemptions
    • A student who is 16 years of age or older and a child at risk at a technical college in lieu of high school or on a part-time basis.
    • A student who is 17 years of age or older and who began a program leading to a high school equivalency diploma in a secured correctional facility or a secured child caring institution, a secure detention facility or a juvenile portion of a county jail to complete that program.

5. The School Board will excuse from compulsory attendance any child who qualifies in one of the areas below:

  • Absent Excused – these absences are excused by the Board. Each of these absences requires the verification of a parent/guardian (written or verbal as determined by attendance officer) or written documentation from a medical or other appropriate professional.
    • Medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric or other valid professional appointments (requires written verification from medical professional)
    • Illness verified through written documentation of a medical professional
    • Death in the immediate family or funerals for close relatives
    • Religious holidays or religious instruction
    • Court appearance or other legal procedure, which requires the attendance of the student
    • Quarantine as imposed by a public health officer
    • Attendance at special events of educational value as approved by the school attendance officer
    • Special circumstances that show good cause which are approved by the school attendance officer
    • School ordered suspension or supervised directed study
    • Removal from school by an officer of the court
  • Parent Excused – ten days of parent excused absences are allowed for the year per state statute. After 10 days, absences will be considered unexcused, unless written verification of an Excused Absence is provided or a building administrator is contacted by the parents to discuss the absence. After 20 days, no absence will be excused without appropriate written verification.
    • Student illness unverified by medical professional
    • Illness in the immediate family which requires the absence of the student because of family responsibilities
    • Family trips that can be taken only during the normal school term (required to notify the school attendance officer or designee prior to leaving – for the purpose of reviewing the student’s attendance record and overall performance record)
    • Extreme weather conditions
    • Other reasons as specified by the parent

6. Missed school work due to absence is expected to be made up.

7. Students signing up to attend summer school will be expected to attend every day, unless ill or due to a family or other emergency.

8. Any child’s parent or guardian, or the child upon notification of the parent or guardian, may request the School Board to provide the child with program and curriculum modifications as enumerated in, but not limited to state law provisions. The school board shall, at the beginning of each school term, notify the students enrolled in the district and their parents or guardians of their right to request program or curriculum modifications, the types of modifications available, the procedures used in requesting and approving modifications, their right to request the school board review any decision made in response to a request and the timelines and procedures for the school board to take action.

9. No student will be denied credit in a course or subject solely because of the pupil’s unexcused absences from school. All students with an unexcused absence, suspended students, and students with excused absences will be permitted to make up an examination missed during the absence. Students may be permitted to make up class work missed during the absence.

10. Each student shall be provided with a copy of the school attendance policies. A copy of the attendance policy shall be on file in each school in the district. In addition, the School Board will make copies available to others upon request.

Legal Reference: Sections 118.15, 118.153, 118.16, 118.162 Wisconsin Statutes
Cross Reference: 426, Part-time Public School Open Enrollment
431-Rule, School Attendance Enforcement Procedures
433.1, Released Time for Religious Instruction

Approved: 2002

Attendance Enforcement Procedures

A. Definitions

1. Truancy is defined as any absence or part or all of one or more days from school during which the school attendance officer or teacher has not been notified of the legal cause for such absence by the parent or guardian of the absent pupil, and also means intermittent attendance carried on for the purpose of defeating the intent of Wis. Statute 118.15.

2. Habitual truancy refers to a student who is absent from school without an acceptable excuse for five or more days which school is held during a school semester.

B. Attendance Officer

1. The School Board shall designate the building principal to serve as a school attendance officer, to deal with matters relating to school attendance and truancy.

2. The attendance officer shall determine daily which students enrolled in the school are absent from school and whether that absence is excused in accordance with board policy and established procedures.

3. Annually, on or before August 1, the school attendance officer shall determine how many students are absent in the previous year and whether the absences were excused, and notify the District Administrator and the State Superintendent of the determination.

4. The attendance officer shall notify the parent or guardian of a child who has been truant of the child’s truancy and direct the parent or guardian to return the child to school not later than the next day on which school is in session or to provide an excuse. The notice shall be given before the end of the second school day after receiving a report of an unexcused absence. The notice may be made by personal contact, mail or telephone call of which a written record is kept, except that notice by personal contact or telephone call shall be attempted before notice by mail may be given.

5. The attendance officer shall notify the parent or guardian of a child who is a habitual truant, by registered or certified mail, when the child initially becomes a habitual truant. The notice shall include the following:

  • A statement of the parent or guardian’s responsibility under state law to cause the child to attend school regularly.
  • A statement that the parent or guardian or child may request program or curriculum modifications for the child and that the child may be eligible for enrollment in a program for children under state law.
  • A request that the parent or guardian meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss the child’s truancy. The notice shall include the name of the school personnel with whom the parent or guardian should meet, a date, time and place for the meeting and the name, address and telephone number of a person to contact to arrange a different date, time or place. The meeting shall be held within five school days after the date that the habitual truancy notice has been sent to the student’s parent/guardian. With the consent of the student’s parent/guardian, however, the date for the meeting may be extended for an additional five school days.
  • A statement of penalties under state law that may be imposed on the parent or guardian if he or she fails to cause the child to attend school regularly.

6. The attendance officer may visit any place of employment in the school district to ascertain whether any minors are employed there contrary to law. A school attendance officer is required by section 118.162(2)(d) of the state statutes to report all cases of illegal employment to the proper school officials and the Department of Workforce Development.

7. The attendance officer shall have access to information regarding the attendance of any child between the ages of 6 and 18 who is a resident of the school district or who claims or is claimed to be in attendance at a private school located in the school district.

8. Classroom teachers shall submit to the school attendance officer daily attendance reports on all students under their charge.

9. Prior to any truancy proceeding brought against a child under state law or against the child’s parent or guardian, the school attendance officer shall provide evidence that appropriate school personnel have, within the school year during which the truancy occurred:

  • Met with the student’s parent/guardian to discuss the student’s truancy or attempted to meet with the student’s parent/guardian and received no response or were refused. This requirement does not apply if the meeting with the parent/guardian is not held within 10 school days after the date that the habitual truancy notice is sent.
  • Provided an opportunity for educational counseling to the child to determine whether a change in the child’s curriculum would resolve the child’s truancy and, have considered curriculum modifications under state law.
  • Evaluated the child to determine whether learning problems may be a cause of the child’s truancy and if so, have taken steps to overcome the learning problems. The student need not be evaluated if tests administered to the student within the previous year indicate that the student is performing at his/her grade level.
  • Conducted an evaluation to determine whether social problems may be a cause of the child’s truancy and if so, have taken appropriate action or make appropriate referrals.

10. The school attendance officer may file information on any child who continues to be truant with the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under Ch. 48 in accordance with Wis. Stats. 48.14. Filing information on a child does not preclude concurrent prosecution of the child’s parent or guardian under Wis. Stats. 118.15(5).

Assignment of Students to Schools

Students in grades K-5 shall attend school in the area in which they reside. Attendance area boundaries shall be established by the Board and may be changed by the Board as population conditions warrant or capacities of buildings require adjustment of student loads.

If a family moves from one attendance area to another within the district, children in grades K-5 will be transferred to the school in the new area. Any exceptions to this transfer must be approved by the administration and, if requested by the family, will require the family to be responsible for transportation of the child.

Legal Reference: Section 120.12(2) Wisconsin Statutes
Approved: 2001

Released Time for Religious Instruction

Requests for released time for religious instruction shall be honored in accordance with state law.

Legal Reference: Section 118.155 Wisconsin Statutes
Approved: 2001

Student Dismissal Precautions (Removal of Student from School or Activity)

School employees will only release a minor student to the custodial guardian of the child. If a school employee has any reason to suspect that an adult who is asking to remove a child from school or from a school sponsored activity is not the child’s custodial guardian, or does not have permission from such a person, the school employee may refuse to release the child.

Legal Reference: Sections 120.12(2), 121.02(1)(i) Wisconsin Statutes