501 - Student Attendance

 

 

 

501.1 - Compulsory Attendance

 

 

 

Parents within the school district who have children over age 6 and under age 16 by September 15th, in proper physical and mental condition to attend school, will have the children attend the school district at the attendance center designated by the board. Students will attend school the number of days or hours school is in session in accordance with the school calendar. Students of compulsory attendance age will attend school a minimum of 90 percent of the approved calendar days or hours. Students not attending the minimum days or hours must be exempted by this policy as listed below or referred to the county attorney. 

Exceptions to this policy include children who:

  • have completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or have obtained a high school equivalency diploma;
  • are attending religious services or receiving religious instruction;
  • are attending an approved or probationally approved private college preparatory school;
  • are attending an accredited nonpublic school;
  • are received independent privation instruction; or
  • are receiving competent private instruction.

It is the responsibility of the parent of a child to provide evidence of the child’s mental and physical inability to attend school or of the child’s qualifications for one of the exceptions listed above.

The principal [or designee] will investigate the cause for a student’s truancy. If they are unable to secure the truant student’s attendance, the principal [or designee] should discuss next steps with the Executive Director of Student Services. If after this referral the student is still truant and all steps in Policy 501.12 Student Absences - Truancy/Unexcused have been met, the matter will be referred to the county attorney.

The school will participate in mediation if requested by the county attorney. The Executive Director of Student Services will represent the school district in mediation.  The school district will monitor the student’s compliance with the mediation agreement and will report violations of the mediation agreement to the county attorney.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 9/20
Revised: 5/11; 10/17; 2/21
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 601.2
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 259A; 279.10-11; Ch 299; 299A
IASB Reference: 501.3

501.2 - Entrance Admissions

 

 

 

Children in the school district community will be allowed to enroll in the district’s regular education program beginning at age five. The child must be age five on or prior to September 15th to participate in the district’s kindergarten/early childhood blended program. The child must be age six on or prior to September 15th to begin the first grade of the education program.

Before the student may enroll in the district’s education program, the board will require evidence of age and residency in the form of a birth certificate or other evidence of age. It is within the discretion of the superintendent to determine what is satisfactory evidence for proof of age and residency.

Prior to enrollment, the parent must provide the administration with their child’s health and immunization certificate. Failure to provide this information within the time period set by the superintendent is reason for suspension, expulsion, or denying admission to the student.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 5/11; 4/12; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 7/13; 2/21
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 139A.8; 144.45(5); 282.1, .3, .6
IASB Reference: 501.4

501.3 - Attendance Center Assignment

 

 

 

The board will have complete discretion to determine the boundaries for each attendance center and to assign students to the attendance centers.

Parents or guardians of siblings in the same grade level academically in grades kindergarten through fourth grade may request siblings be placed in the same or different classrooms. In order to be valid, the request must be made in writing and submitted to the principal at the time of registration for classes, or within 14 days after the children’s first day of attendance during the school year. If a valid request is received by the principal, the request must be honored. While a parent or guardian may make a placement request that siblings be placed together or apart, the administration retains complete discretion to select the classroom teachers to which siblings are assigned. If after the initial grading period following the placement of siblings in the same or different classrooms the principal determines the placement is disruptive to the class; the principal may assign one or more of the siblings to different classrooms.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to make a recommendation to the board on an annual basis regarding assignment of student attendance centers. In making the recommendation, the superintendent will consider the geographical layout of the school district, the condition and location of the school district facilities, the location of student population, possible transportation challenges, the financial condition of the school district, and other factors deemed relevant by the superintendent or the board.

The primary purpose of the school boundary attendance plan is to obtain uniform class sizes throughout the district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17
Revised: 8/06; 9/20
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.11; 282.7-.8
IASB Reference: 501.5

501.4 - Student Attendance Records

 

 

 

As part of the school district’s records, the daily attendance of each student is recorded and maintained on file with the permanent records of the board secretary.

It is the responsibility of the principals to ensure that such reports are filed with the board secretary as the custodian of school records.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1; 505.6
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 294.4; 299; 281 IAC 12.3(4)
IASB Reference: 501.8

501.5 - Resident Students

 

 

 

Children who are residents of the school district community will attend the school district without paying tuition.

The residence of a student means the place, abode, or dwelling of the student. Generally, the legal dwelling of minors is the same as their parents. However, a student may establish a dwelling with someone other than their parents and attend public school in the school district without paying tuition if the primary purpose for residing in the school district is not for the purpose of obtaining a free public education. Further, students who have reached the age of majority and who are still eligible to attend an Iowa secondary school may declare their residence independent of the residence of the parents.

Each case involving the bona fide residence of a student will be decided upon its individual merits by the superintendent [or designee].

Prior to knowingly enrolling an individual who is required to register as a sex offender under Iowa Code Chapter 692A, but who is otherwise eligible to enroll in the district, the board will determine the educational placement of the individual.

Upon receipt of notice that a student who is enrolled in the district is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 692A, the board will determine the educational placement of the student.

The tentative agenda for the meeting of the Board of Directors; at which the board will consider such enrollment or educational placement will specifically state that the board is considering the enrollment or educational placement of an individual who is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 692A. If the individual is denied enrollment in the district under this section, the school district of residence will provide the individual with educational services in an alternative setting.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 9/98; 8/17
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 257.6; 282.2, .6-.7; 285.4
IASB Reference: 501.1

501.6 - Non-Resident Students

 

 

 

Students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school but who are not legal residents of the school district may be admitted into the school district at the discretion of the superintendent upon application and payment of tuition. The tuition rate is the current per-pupil cost of the school district as computed by the board secretary and as authorized by the Iowa Department of Education.

Resident students whose families move from the school district after the start of a semester and who wish to complete the semester in the school district may be permitted to attend without the payment of tuition at the discretion of the superintendent and approval of the board. Students who plan to open enroll to the non-resident district may complete the school year without approval of the superintendent or board. These students, other than students in grades eleven and twelve, must have the recommendation of the principal.

Students in grades eleven or twelve who are no longer residents of the school district, but were residents in the preceding school year, may continue to attend school until they graduate without the payment of tuition. These students may be required to identify an adult who resides in the school district for the purposes of administration.

Non-resident students who are eligible to attend an Iowa public school and who have evidence they will become legal residents of the school district prior to October 1st may be allowed to attend without the payment of tuition.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 7/13
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1; 602.23; 602.24; 602.25
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 257.6; 282.1-.2, .6-.7, .24
IASB Reference: 501.2

501.7 - Foreign Exchange Students

 

 

 

Qualified foreign exchange students may be enrolled and attend school without charge if they are recommended by the high school building principal and reside within the boundaries of this district or whose host family is open enrolled into the district.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to review and approve organizations that wish to place foreign exchange students at the high school.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewd: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 8/02; 11/17
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1; 501.6; 602.23; 602.24; 602.25
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8
IASB Reference: 604.8

501.9 - Student Transfers In

 

 

 

Students who transfer into the school district must meet the immunization and age requirements set out for students who initially enroll in the school district.

The school district will request the student’s cumulative records from their previous school district. If the student cannot offer proof of grade level, the superintendent [or designee] will make the grade level determination. The superintendent [or designee] may require testing or other information to determine the grade level. Students expelled or suspended from their previous school district will only be enrolled after approval of the board.

The superintendent [or designee] will determine the amount of credits to be transferred. If the student has not previously attended an accredited school, it is within the superintendent’s [or designee’s] discretion to accept or reject credits or grades.

The board may deny admission if the student is not willing to provide them with the necessary information.


Adopted: 11/92
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 8/06
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1-10; 602.23-25
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 139A.8; 282.1, .3-.4; 299A; 20 USA § 1232g
IASB Reference: 501.6

501.10 - Student Transfers Out or Withdrawals

 

 

 

If the student's parents wish to withdraw or transfer their student out of school prior to completing and graduating from the education program, they should notify the associate superintendent [or designee] in writing as soon as possible of their decision. The parents should also notify the student’s attendance center of their decision to transfer their student out of the district.

The notice should state the student's final day of attendance. If the student is not enrolling in another school district, the district will maintain the student's records in the same manner as the records of students who have graduated from the district.

If the parents wish to have the student's cumulative records sent to the new school district, they must notify the student’s attendance center in writing. The notice should include the name of the receiving school district and the person at the new district to whom the student's cumulative records should be sent. If the new school district requests the student's cumulative records, the student’s attendance center will forward the cumulative records and notify the parents the records have been sent. The notice will inform the parents of their right to review the records sent.

If the student is of compulsory education age and not transferring to another public school district or an accredited nonpublic school, the parents will notify the associate superintendent [or designee] that the student is receiving competent private instruction and file the necessary competent private instruction reports.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 9/20
Revised: 8/06; 10/17
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1-10; 604.23-25
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 274.1; 299.1-1A; 299A.11; 20 USC § 1232g
IASB Reference: 501.7

501.11 - Student Absences Excused

 

 

 

Regular attendance by students is essential for them to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence. Students shall attend school unless excused by the principal of their attendance center.

Student absences approved by the principal shall be excused absences. Excused absences will count as days in attendance for purposes of the truancy law. These absences include but are not limited to illness, family emergencies, dental, medical appointments, recognized religious observances, and school-sponsored or approved activities.

The district believes that traditional, in-person school attendance leads to the greatest learning opportunities for students. However, there may be rare and unusual circumstances created by public emergencies declared by state or local officials which temporarily prevent students from attending traditional, in-person school. In these circumstances, the superintendent [or designee] will have discretion to make reasonable accommodations for students, on a case-by-case basis, to attend school through remote learning opportunities within the available resources of the district and as permitted by law. During approved remote learning attendance will be taken, assessments may be administered, and grades will count towards the students’ cumulative grade point average as if they were attending in person. The provision of special education and accommodations for students who have individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans will be determined by each respective IEP or Section 504 team.

Students whose absences are approved will make up the schoolwork missed and receive full credit upon completion. It will be the responsibility of the student to initiate a procedure with their teacher to complete the missed work.

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

It is the responsibility of the parents to notify the student's attendance center as soon as they know the student will not be attending school on that day. The principal may request evidence or written verification of the student's reason for absence.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17
Revised: 9/20
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 294.4; 299; 281 IAC 12.3(4); 34 CFR Sec 300; 28 CFR Pt 35
IASB Reference: 501.9

501.12 - Student Absences - Truancy/Unexcused

 

 

 

Regular attendance by the students at school is essential for them to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence. Students will attend school unless excused by the principal of their attendance center.

Truancy is the failure to attend school for the minimum number of days/hours established in the school calendar by the school board. Truancy is the act of being absent without a reasonable excuse. These absences will include but not be limited to tardiness, shopping, hunting, non-school concerts, preparation or participation in parties and other celebrations, and employment. Truancy will not be tolerated by the board.

Students are subject to disciplinary action for truancy; including suspension and expulsion. It is within the discretion of the principal to determine, in light of the circumstances, whether a student may make up schoolwork missed because of truancy.  Students receiving special education services will not be assigned to supervised study hall or in-school suspension unless the goals and objectives of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) are capable of being met.

The building principal [or designee] will investigate the cause for a student's truancy. If the principal [or designee] is unable to secure the truant student's attendance, the principal [or designee] should discuss the next step with the superintendent [or designee]. If after administrative action the student is still truant, the principal [or designee] will refer the matter over to the county attorney.

The school district will participate in mediation if requested by the county attorney. The Executive Director of Student Services will represent the district in mediation. The district will monitor the student's compliance with the mediation agreement and will report violations of the mediation agreement to the county attorney.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the building principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy. The administrative regulations will indicate the disciplinary action to be taken for truancy.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 5/11, 4/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17
Revised: 9/09; 9/20
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 294.4; 299; 281 IAC 12.3(4)
IASB Reference: 501.10

501.13 - Student Release

 

 

 

Students in grades eleven and twelve may be allowed to leave the school district facilities with parental permission when they are not scheduled to be in class. Students who violate school rules may have this privilege suspended.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the building principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 9/09
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 294.4; 281 IAC 12.3(4)
IASB Reference: 501.11

501.14 - Students of Legal Age

 

 

 

Students who have attained legal age may continue the education program without payment of tuition as long as they are eligible to attend an Iowa public school and are residents of the school district.

Parents will be allowed to access and view the student's records without written permission from the student if the student is still a dependent for tax purposes. In most cases, with the discretion of the principal or the superintendent, the student will be able to make decisions and sign documents rather than requiring parental permission or signature.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 5/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Related Policy (Code #): 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 22; 282.2, .6-.7; 285.4; 599.1; 622:10; 281 IAC 12.3(6); 20 USC § 1232g
IASB Reference: 501.13

501.15 - Homeless Children and Youth

 

 

 

The district will ensure reasonable efforts to identify homeless children and youth of school age within the district, encourage their enrollment in school, eliminate existing barriers in district policies and procedures which may serve as barriers to their enrollment, and ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.

The designated coordinator for identification of homeless children and for tracking and monitoring programs and activities for these children is the Executive Director of Student Services.

The superintendent may develop an administrative process or procedures to implement this policy.


Adopted: 9/98
Reviewed: 4/11; 3/12; 10/14; 1/15; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 7/13; 12/16
Related Policy (Code #): 501.1; 501.15-R; 503.3; 507.1; 603.3; 711.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 20 USC § 6301; 42 USC § 11302; 42 USC §§ 11431 et seq; 281 IAC 33
IASB Reference: 501.16
Mandatory Policy

501.15-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding Homeless Children and Youth

 

 

 

The district will ensure reasonable efforts to identify homeless children and youth of school age within the district, encourage their enrollment in school, eliminate existing barriers in district policies and procedures which may serve as barriers to their enrollment, and ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.

Definitions:

The term “unaccompanied youth” means youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian including those living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets, or in other inadequate housing; youth denied housing by their families; and school-age unwed mothers living in homes for unwed mothers who have no other housing available.

The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals from ages 3 through 21 who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Children or youth that are incarcerated or in foster care are not considered homeless. The term includes:

  • Children and youth who are:
    • sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (referred to as “doubled up”);
    • living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
    • abandoned in hospitals.
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

The term “school of origin” means the school that the homeless child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled.

To help ensure that homeless children and youth have a full opportunity to enroll, attend, and succeed at school the board shall:

  • Designate the Executive Director of Student Services as the local homeless children and youth liaison;
  • Provide training opportunities for staff so they may help identify and meet the needs of homeless children and youth;
  • Remove barriers; including those associated with fees, fines, and absences to the identification, enrollment, retention, attendance, and/or success in school for homeless children and youth;
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination with other service providers;
  • Ensure transportation is provided in accordance with legal requirements;
  • Provide school stability in school assignment according to the child’s best interest;
  • Ensure the privacy of student records as provided by applicable law including information about a homeless child or youth’s living situation;
  • Engage in the dispute resolution process for decisions relating to the educational placement of homeless children and youth as provided by applicable law; and
  • Prohibit the segregation of a homeless child or youth from other students enrolled in the district.

The superintendent [or designee] may develop an administrative process or procedures to implement this policy.


Adopted: 8/06
Reviewed: 4/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 1/15; 12/16
Related Policy (Code #): 501.1-14; 501.15
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 20 USC § 6301; 42 USC § 11302; 42 USC §§ 11431 et seq; 281 IAC 33
IASB Reference: 501.16