The Board recognizes that the fundamental right to attend the public schools places upon students the accompanying responsibility to be faithful in attendance. Regular attendance can be assumed to be essential for a student's successful progress in the instructional program.
For a student to be eligible to receive credit and make up work during an absence, the student shall be required in each instance to submit parental confirmation of the reasons for the absence. The student shall submit an appropriate written excuse upon his/her return, or no later than five (5) days thereafter. Students not excused shall be given failing grades in those subjects for those days missed, provided a graded activity was conducted during the unexcused absence, and shall not be given an opportunity to make up the work missed.
Excused absences can only be granted in the event of extenuating circumstances as outlined below. School personnel may require certificates from participating physicians and dentists substantiating all illnesses. Written evidence from church authorities relative to requiring religious observances may also be required.
All schools shall keep daily records of attendance, verified by the teacher keeping such records which shall be open to inspection by the visiting teacher or Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance. Each school shall attempt to provide verbal notification, and if such verbal notification cannot be provided, then shall provide written notification to a child's parent, tutor, or legal guardian when that child had been excessively absent from school for five (5) school days in schools operating on a semester basis, and for ten (10) days in schools not operating on a semester basis.
Students missing school as result of any suspension shall be counted as absent, shall be given failing grades for those days suspended, provided a graded activity was conducted during the suspension, and shall not be given an opportunity to make up work missed during the suspension.
No public elementary or secondary school pupil shall be permitted for any reason to absent himself from school attendance during the school day upon his own authority. The principal or designee shall make all reasonable efforts to verbally notify the parent or other person responsible for the pupil's school attendance of any such prohibited absence by a pupil.
The only exception to the attendance regulation shall be the delineated extenuating circumstances that are verified by the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, which are as follows:
1. Extended personal physical or emotional illness as verified by a physician or dentist.
2. Extended hospital stay as verified by a physician or dentist.
3. Extended recuperation from an accident as verified by a physician or dentist.
4. Extended contagious disease within a family as verified by a physician or dentist.
5. Prior school system approved travel for education.
6. Death in the family (not to exceed one week).
7. Natural catastrophe and/or disaster.
8. For any other extenuating circumstances, parents must make a formal appeal in accordance with the due process procedures established by the school system.
Students who are verified as meeting extenuation circumstances and therefore eligible to receive grades shall not receive those grades if they are unable to complete makeup work or pass the course.
ABSENCES DUE TO SCHOOL APPROVED ACTIVITIES
Students participating in school approved activities which necessitate their being away from school shall be considered to be present and shall be given the opportunity to make up work.
TYPES OF ABSENCES
The days absent for elementary and secondary school students shall include temporarily excused absences, unexcused absences, and suspensions.
Temporarily Excused Absences
Students shall be considered temporarily excused from school for personal illness, serious illness in the family, death in the family (not to exceed one week), or for recognized religious holidays of the student's own faith and shall be given the opportunity to make up work.
Students shall not be excused for any absence other than those listed under temporarily excused absences above, and shall be given failing grades in those subjects for those days missed, and shall not be given an opportunity to make up work. Students shall not be excused from school to work on any job including agriculture and domestic service, even in their own homes or for their own parents or tutors. Absences Due to Suspensions Students missing school as a result of any suspension shall be counted as absent, shall be given failing grades for those days suspended, and shall not be given an opportunity to make up work.
Revised: December, 1995
March, 2000 Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:221, 17:226, 17:227, 17:232; Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741, State Department of Education, Board minutes 4/13/2000