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JEAA - School Attendance/Student Absences and Tardiness

JEAA - School Attendance/Student Absences and Tardiness

Regular school attendance is essential to academic success. Because the process of education depends upon exposure to subject matter, continuity of instruction and class participation, absence from class is detrimental to student learning. The interaction of students with the teacher and with other students contributes to mastery of content, critical thinking, and development of effective communication and social skills.

Responsibility for maintaining student attendance is a shared responsibility.

A. Except for excused absences, students are expected to attend school every day, arrive at school and to each class on time, and remain in school for the full day. 

B. Parents are expected to ensure that their children arrive at school each day on time, remain in school for the full day, and attend school consistently throughout the year.

C. Schools will maintain a comprehensive attendance record for each student. School staff is expected to monitor attendance and communicate with parents and students regarding attendance and tardiness. 

If a student is absent and the school has not been notified of this absence by the parent, the school will contact the parent and alert the parent of the student’s absence.

The Superintendent, in consultation with school administrators and, as appropriate, other school unit staff, shall be responsible for developing rules and procedures related to student attendance. Such rules and procedures will include provisions for: 

A. Disciplinary consequences for unexcused absences, tardiness, early departures and absences from classes;

B. The potential academic consequences of excessive absenteeism; and 

C. The making up of tests, quizzes and other work missed during excused and unexcused absences. 

Absences will be classified in two ways:    

Excused Absence 

A student’s absence is excused when the absence is for the following reasons:

A. Personal illness (a chronic illness may require a doctor’s note);

B. An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the regular school day;

C. Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;

D. A family emergency;

E. A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose that has been approved by administration;

F. Education disruption resulting from homelessness, unplanned psychiatric hospitalization, unplanned hospitalization for a medical emergency, foster care placement, youth development placement or some other out-of-district placement that is not otherwise authorized by either any individual education plan or a superintendents’ student transfer agreement. “Education disruption” does not apply to a student who is out of school for 10 or more consecutive school days as a result of a planned absence for a reason such as a family event or a medical absence for planned hospitalization or recovery.

Unexcused Absence

An unexcused absence shall be defined as one which does not fit the criteria of excused absence and which does not have permission of school administration. The definition of excused and unexcused absence can be found in each schools’ student handbook. 

The Board’s policy and the schools’ attendance rules and procedures will be communicated to students, parents, administrators and staff by means of student and staff handbooks, student and parent orientations, and/or other means as deemed effective and appropriate. The potential disciplinary consequences for unexcused absences from school or class and for unexcused tardiness and early departures will be included in the student code of conduct.


Cross References: JEA - Compulsory Attendance

JFC - Dropout Prevention/Student Withdrawal from School

JHB - Truancy

JICDA - Student Code of Conduct


Policy Adopted: June 7, 1978

Policy Revised: November 1, 1979, May 7, 1980, August 19, 1987, October 15, 1997,  November 20, 2013, June 1, 2016, March 15, 2023