M.S.D. Southwest Allen considers the development of good attendance habits as a vital and desirable undertaking for two essential reasons. First, it is difficult for young people to learn if they are not in class: the teaching-learning process builds upon itself. Secondly, research shows that educational achievement is directly related to attendance. A student who misses a day of school misses a day of education that cannot be retrieved in its entirety. Each school is expected to implement policies and practices that encourage its students to develop and demonstrate good attendance habits.

Absences from School

Absences from school shall fall into one of the four following categories:

1.     Absences which are counted as present:

a.      Serving as a page in the Indiana General Assembly;

b.     For students in grades seven through 12, serving at the polls on Election Day with prior approval of principal;

c.      Court appearances which are documented by a probation officer or officer of the court;

d.     Active duty with the Indiana National Guard for not more than ten (10) days in a school year;

e.      Placement in a short term inpatient treatment program which provides an instructional program;

f.      Homebound instruction; and/or

g.     Religious observances.

2.     Excused Absences

a.      Parent/guardian may excuse up to ten absences per school year (e.g. illness, medical and legal appointment, family vacations, college visits).

b.     Illnesses that are excused by a written note from a physician will not be counted as part of the ten parent/guardian excused absences. Absences beyond the ten parent/guardian excused absences in a school year that are not accompanied by a written note from a physician will be considered truancies. A note must be provided to the school upon the student’s return to school.

c.      Exceptions to the ten parent/guardian excused absences will be made only in the following situations:

1.     Funerals:

a.      death in the immediate family,

b.     death of a person outside the immediate family with parental permission

d.     The building principal may excuse an absence in an emergency situation.

3.     Unexcused Absences

a.      No parent/guardian contact with the school giving an explanation for the absence on the day of the absence or prior to the absence. 

4.     Truancy

a.      A student is truant when s/he is absent from school or class without the permission of his/her parent or guardian.

b.     Absences beyond the ten parent/guardian excused absences in a school year will be truancies unless excused by written note from a physician. Such absences are subject to disciplinary action as established in each school’s handbook. Each policy should give consideration to steps that involve the school social worker and the juvenile court in assisting to enforce appropriate attendance.

c.      A student will be considered a habitual truant when that student has been expelled for truancy.