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501.12 - Student Absences - Truancy/Unexcused

Regular attendance by the students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents/legal guardians 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 school 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 work 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 associate 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 associate superintendent [or designee] 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 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; 10/23
Related Policy: 500.1; 501.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 294.4; 299; 281 IAC 12.3(4)
IASB Reference: 501.10