Attendance & Absences
SCHOOL ENROLLMENT AGE GUIDELINES
Indiana Law requires anyone between the ages of seven and sixteen to attend school. Indiana Code sets the age requirement for school enrollment as follows:
Kindergarten: age 5 on or before August 1st
Grade 1: age 6 on or before August 1st.
It is important that your child is at school each day. Good attendance is one of the keys to achieving your child’s full potential in the learning process. The overall rate of attendance is one of four determining factors in our accreditation rating with the Indiana Department of Education. Depending upon the time of year, absence can also have an impact on school funding.
Attendance will be excused but not counted against absence numbers for the following reasons:
- School-sponsored trips;
- Court appearance or witness in judicial proceedings;
- Service as a legislative page;
- Participation in an election;
- Active duty with the Indiana National Guard;
- Active duty with the Indiana wing of civil air patrol;
- Religious instruction;
- Attendance excused by the principal/designee;
- Exhibiting or participating in State Fair-- A student may be excused if the student or member of the student’s household participates or exhibits in the Indiana State fair for educational purposes. The student’s parent must provide a written note indicating the educational purpose and the school principal must approve the absence. A student may not miss more than (5) days in a school year due to attending the State Fair. The student must be in good academic standing with the school as determined by HSE.
Attendance will be excused but counted against absence numbers for the following reasons:
- The student’s illness or injury (documented);
- Accident involving the student’s transportation;
- Death or serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
- Religious observations;
- College visits;
- Attendance excused by the principal/designee
Students of active duty personnel shall have additional excused absences at the discretion of the District for visitations relative to leave or deployment.
Excused absences at the elementary school level means the student is counted as absent, but it falls under one of the legal reasons for an absence. All other absences are considered unexcused.
A maximum of eight (8) days per semester
and a maximum of sixteen (16) days per school year will be excused. Further undocumented absences will be unexcused. Students must have a written explanation from their doctor for every absence above and beyond the maximum of 8 days per semester or
16 days per year. Parents are ultimately responsible for their child’s school attendance. Students with excessive absences and/or tardies will be referred to the HSE attendance officer.
At the elementary level, the half day absence mark is 10:55AM for student day. Any student arriving after 8:40AM and prior to 10:55AM will be marked half day absence.
ENROLLMENT - STUDENT'S LEGAL SETTLEMENT
Per Indiana Code, a student may be expelled from school if the student’s legal settlement is not in the attendance area of the school corporation where the student is enrolled.
When your child is absent from school, please call the school office before 9:00AM each day he/she is absent. Please report the child’s name, classroom teacher, and illness. It is helpful for the school nurse to know the nature of illnesses in our school to identify symptoms of others seen in the clinic. A doctor’s permission to return to school may be required dependent upon the length and type of illness your child is experiencing. We ask you to do this to ensure the safety of your child and to confirm that he/she is either here or with you at home. Our voicemail system will take messages concerning absences before and after office hours. If you do not contact the office, contact will be made with you by the school.
HOMEWORK DUE TO ILLNESS
In case of absences, parents may request homework for their child on the second consecutive day of absence due to illness. Please call the school office by 8:10AM if requesting homework, so that the classroom teachers have adequate time to prepare the assignments. Homework may be picked up in the office between 2:15PM-3:00PM. Generally speaking, a student has one day for every day absent to complete make up work.
NON-PARTICIPATION IN CLASS / ACTIVITIES
Recess—All students are expected to participate in recess each day. Recess will be held outdoors on all days in which weather permits. Therefore, students should dress appropriately on all days as they will be expected to go outside with their class. Students not participating may bring a note from home or their physician. Our school policy only allows a student to use a note from home for three (3) school days after which time a parental note should be replaced with a doctor’s note. Any student missing physical education, for any reason, will not be permitted to participate in recess activities. He/She will go outside for recess and may be an observer but may not participate in recess activities. Parents need to communicate any recess excuse to both the school nurse and the classroom teacher. Parents who wish to discuss a particular situation may contact their student’s classroom teacher.
Physical Education—As a vital part of our curriculum, all students are required to participate in physical education. To be excused from participating, a student MUST have a doctor’s note stating why he/she cannot participate and for how long the student will be excused. If a student is injured and is waiting to go to a doctor, a parental note may be used. However, a parental note will only be good for one day. The student MUST have a doctor’s note to continue to be excused from physical education class. Any student with an excused absence/non-participation day in physical education is not permitted to participate in active extracurricular functions. This includes sports, camps, bowling, intramural athletics and travel sports teams. Please keep in mind that teachers are not physicians. When notes are being written to our teachers, be specific. The note must contain a stop and start date for the restrictions. Terms such as “limited activity, some activity, not too much activity, and do what they feel like” are very ambiguous and open to varied interpretation. Therefore, any notes which are not specific will be interpreted as no physical activity. Students who physically do not participate in physical education class will be responsible for everything taught on an informational/knowledge/intellectual basis. However, a student must also participate to earn at least a satisfactory grade in physical education. Prolonged absence from physical education, without a doctor’s excuse, could jeopardize the student’s grade. Therefore, all communication for excused participation from physical education should be made with the physical education teacher. Parents who wish to discuss a particular situation may contact their student’s physical education teacher.
After School Activities—Any student who is ill and has either not attended school or has been sent home sick from school may not participate in any after-school activities until symptom free for twenty-four (24) hours. In order to participate in any extra-curricular or after school activity, a student must be in attendance at school a minimum of one-half day on the day of the event.
TARDY TO SCHOOL
If your child is late to school, please sign them in at the front office. Do not, for any reason, drop your child off at the front door. If students are tardy due to circumstances beyond the family’s control (power failure, late bus, weather conditions) no tardy report will be filed. Students are marked tardy when a student arrives between 7:40AM-8:40AM.
APPOINTMENTS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
If an appointment requires that your child arrive late to school or be released early from school, your child must be signed in and/or signed out at the school office by a parent/guardian or other authorized adult and show a valid picture ID. If your child is routinely arriving late or leaving early from school, they are missing accumulated instructional time.
LATE START OR EARLY RELEASE FOR NON-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Late starts or early releases for activities such as lessons, practices, etc. are discouraged as they are not in the best educational interest of the students. However, some circumstances require that a student be late to school or dismissed before the end of the school day on a regular basis. Parents should contact the building principal for the specific procedure for consideration and approval of a request for regular late start or early release of any student for a non-school activity.
WITHDRAW / TRANSFER OF STUDENTS
Parents who will be withdrawing their child from school should notify the school office as least one full day in advance so the appropriate forms, book rental refund, library obligations, lunch charges, and textbooks can be addressed. School records will be sent directly to the new school. Health forms may be copied and sent with the parents. A request for these copies should be made as far in advance as possible.